Learning expert Scott Young has read enough books to master the learning process, and is the author of Wall Street Journal bestseller Ultralearning, in which he unpacks what it takes to master learning, memory and self-control; the same techniques that have helped him learn multiple languages, and self-learn a four year MIT degree in just 12 months.
“I’ll pick three books that are diverse just because I think we have different sizes,” says Young, in an interview with Jabra. “So the book that I would guess that most people have not even heard of before that I think that they should read The Enigma of Reason by Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber.”
“That book is really revolutionary for me because it basically, it sounds like an esoteric topic. How does human reasoning work? But when you really think about it, what it’s saying is who are we as thinking creatures and how does our faculty of thinking about our lives, coming up with reasons for things, explaining our own actions, seeing who we are, how does that actually work? They have a very compelling thesis that caused me to rethink a lot of my own thoughts in that regard. So I would say that that was sort of one of my favorite books of the last year.”
“In terms of a lighter book and more popular book. I would also recommend the books Deep Work by Cal Newport, one of my good friends. I think a very important book if you want to be more productive and if you want to think about how do you start working towards your life work. I think focus and depth are things that are needed in our modern age.”
“And then I’d also suggest another friend’s book, Atomic Habits by James Clear. I think really for me, I got started maybe 15 years ago with this topic of habits and it was revolutionary for me. So I think for someone who hasn’t studied habits, tried to implement habits, spent a year getting really obsessed about habits, that’s a phase that I think everyone should go through in their self-improvement life.”
“Habits are really like a fundamental part of learning, about self-control, about actualizing your goals. I do think there’s more nuance than just that, but I would really recommend that book because it offers some good guidance. It’s psychologically grounded.”
Whether you’re wanting to take some time over the summer vacation, or sharpen your habits with new working routines caused by Covid-19, start with these three books. If you haven’t listened to the full episode of the Jabra Soundbar podcast with Scott H Young, you can find the full interview on self-control, memory and learning, below.