We can learn anything we want (excerpt from Up Your Game -the Book)

The future is looking pretty exciting and we are approaching a radical cultural and economic shift.

In some ways, the revolution has already started. We now can access all of humanity's knowledge within seconds. But the unfortunate truth though is that most people are not using this technology to expand their knowledge or invest in themselves. The majority of us still surf the net in constant search of entertainment and connection. Between Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube, the average internet user spends hours every day in a daze scrolling through feeds and refreshing slot-machine-like apps designed to captivate your attention and never let it go. 

The good news is that the infrastructure is already there. We are just waiting for more people to realize the amount of power they have at their fingertips. To put this is in a visual perspective, let's pretend that your country had just finished developing the most advanced transportation system. Trains so fast, they could travel 1000 miles in a matter of minutes. Yet, only a small minority uses this network for meaningful travel. The rest of them only use this network to send postcards or order food. Even though this scenario seems far-fetched, our current situation is a digital version of it.

We have an endless number of tutorials, courses, videos, and articles online but yet, the majority of people fail to see the potential and get fixated on thoughts like "technology will take my job" or "my job is becoming extinct." 

When you finally decide to drop this negative internal dialogue, and you substitute it with a growth mindset, you open up your future to endless possibilities.

While I was working my office job at a Canadian youth employment agency, I had the pleasure to help at-risk youth find jobs in their field of interest. The people I was assisting had great potential, but unfortunately, they had no idea about the vast amount of information online. One particular person (I'll call him Jay for this story) wanted to become a web designer. Jay had expressed interest, but he kept on saying that he never went to school for web design and that, for that reason, he probably would never become one.

I was shocked! I had seen people taking $15 courses and use that knowledge to offer services online. I had even seen people getting amazing jobs or promotions by applying the knowledge they got through free courses. 

Jay's story is just one example. Most people weren't taught how to take their education in their own hands. Society won't tell you how to get ahead; you are the one that has to do the groundwork. If you want to push the boundaries and stand out from the crowd, remember that the road ahead has no conventional map. Create your curriculum and find your path.

The courses and the tutorials are all already there. You simply need to find them, take them, and apply the knowledge as soon as possible.

If you have been struggling to find a way to make money online, for example, go straight to Google or Youtube. Make sure always to watch videos that are up to date. Search the topic you want to learn and then type the year. For example, if I wanted to grow my Instagram page now, I would search "How to grow an Instagram account in 2019". Once you get the basic knowledge through the video (or the blog post), you can consider diving deeper into the topic by enrolling in an online course.

If you apply this system every time you encounter a topic you are not familiar with, you will be unstoppable.

Remember that only a small percentage of people is using the internet to learn, so any time you take a course and study something new, you are getting ahead of your potential competitors.

A learning method that I have been teaching to my coaching clients is Just In Time Learning. I came across this technique a few years ago, and I found it so useful that I never reverted to my usual learning technique. Just In Time Learning is the act of taking a course when you find yourself in front of a task that you don't know how to execute. Let's say you wanted to create a Facebook Ad, but you didn't know how to set up retargeting. At that point, you would take a crash course on that exact topic right before working on it!

This system is extremely efficient because you use your energy to learn things that you can apply right away hence strengthening your ability to retain that knowledge and making good use of it right away.

Websites like SkillShare.com or Udemy.com have tons of courses you can buy and access on the go, so they are perfect for this type of learning experience. 

The main issue that we are facing is not a lack of knowledge or infrastructure. The problem is distraction. Most people associate technology with leisure and entertainment and they fail to see the true potential that lies behind. That is how entire generations miss out on countless opportunities. People feel powerless, and they fall into a state of apathy. The apathy turns into a victim mentality, and people start blaming their situation on some outside factor.

I am not trying to underplay the massive issues of our era. Mass unemployment, job displacement due to automation, climate change, corruption are all real, and they do affect us at a deep level. But many of us live in a much more comfortable (and safer) environment now than people lived 50 years ago. The world is not perfect, but does that mean that you have to give up on your dreams? There are plenty of people that thrived in much worse circumstances.  Let's face it! The world is changing at an unprecedented pace, and you either stay afloat and play by the rules, or you'll fall behind and become irrelevant.

Deniero Bartolini