Metacognition to Apply

Do you read “business” books or blogs to learn and apply what you have learned?  The business related books that I read aren’t for my enjoyment or leisure, although I have come to appreciate many authors and their style of writing.  I would think this would be the case for most people, at least with the books and blogs that I read.  I read primarily to execute my concentrated purpose.  Research from Andy Matuschak: “Why Books Don’t Work” recent article reports that a relatively small minority of readers acquire what they intended to do after 6 – 9 hours of reading each book.  Then why read them?

Matuschak goes on to explain that “most all books are written surprisingly bad with conveying knowledge, and readers mostly don’t realize it.”  He casts the same dispersions on the typical lecture format of formal education.

Certain practical strategies of metacognition will help you to absorb and apply the knowledge for greater understanding.  The simple transmission of information is not one of them.  Understanding would only come during and then after the book is read or the lecture is received when learners apply what they have absorbed for deeper understanding and practical application going forward.  “To understand something, you must actively engage with it.”

If you think about your purpose for reading and then “connect” the absorbing knowledge as you move through the material featuring analysis, summarization, and synthesis with your current work to improve or deepen it, your learning level will grow exponentially.  This isn’t easy, but necessary to draw the most from written or oral materials.  You have to have a working feedback loop in your head to apply/engage with the knowledge.

Often when I read or hear something a second or a third time, I grab brand new knowledge that I wasn’t able to connect with the time before.  The knowledge either wasn’t a relative interest at the time in my metacognition process or it simply wasn’t something I was capable enough to connect with just then.  The curiosity gap that I am specifically trying to close at that time is why I chose the reference material and how I centered my learning interests while reading it that first time.

I hope you develop and retain a sound metacognition plan for increasing your knowledge and comprehension as you apply what you learn here with this blog.  Most of the thoughts are digested a bit in presentation and the intent is to encourage you to engage the concepts into your work and your purpose.  It won’t happen on it’s own, be very intent toward your purpose when you read (or reread).


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