Want to learn it? Teach it!

A unique conversation occurred on Twitter yesterday with Mike Marian, founder of Synapp.io. It started with the following tweet.

I could have used more words, such as linking to this post, so that Mike would not have had the reaction that he did. But here’s what was behind the post. If you want to learn a subject, any subject, an easy way to learn it is to sign up to teach it. Yes, that’s kind of what I said in the tweet, except for the words “sign up to”, which, in this case, are pretty important.

I don’t know how to write Javascript. But if I really, really wanted to learn it, I could tell the fine folks at General Assembly that I’d like to teach a half day session called “Intro to Javascript” in August of this year. Now you ask, “Uh, Kevin, how does signing up to teach a class get you to learn it?” Good question.

Maybe I’m the only one in the entire universe who thinks this way, but I don’t believe I am. The way my brain works is under pressure. I usually don’t learn new things because I want to. I learn them because I have to. Necessity is the mother of invention, as the saying goes.

So if I sign up to teach “Intro to Javascript” in 3 months, now I have to learn it. And I will. No idea where I get this “quality”, but it’s who I am. If I have to learn something to get to the next step, then I will learn it. Simple as that.  I think, based on the image at the top of this post, that Richard Branson agrees, don’t you?

Now you understand a little more about that original tweet. It’s not the blind leading the blind. It’s the pressure cooking the need.

What do you need to learn? Put a little pressure on yourself by signing up to teach that thing.

What do you think?