Library / Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career

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Quotes (6)

How Far He Could Go

His goal wasn’t to reach some predetermined extreme but to see how far he could go.

Passive Learning vs. Active Practice

Passive learning creates knowledge. Active practice creates skill.

The Easiest Way

The easiest way to learn directly is to simply spend a lot of time doing the thing you want to become good at.


However remarkable this is, I’m more interested in the kind of focus that Somerville seemed to possess. How can one in an environment such as hers, with constant distractions, little social support, and continuous obligations, manage to focus long enough not only to learn an impressive breadth of subjects, but to such depths that the French mathematician Siméon Poisson once remarked that “there were not twenty men in France who could read [her] book”?

Distractions and Writing

While I’m writing, I’m less likely to enter into the state of reading hypnosis where I’m pantomiming the act of reading while my mind is actually elsewhere

Putting the Knowledge to Use

He isn’t focused on simply soaking up knowledge. He is committed to putting that knowledge to use.