You Must Research in Order to Know Something New
When you decide to do something or know something, it begins first with the desire to learn and then proceeds with research. How you research depends upon your previous knowledge on how to obtain information.
We don't necessarily think to ourselves "I'm going to learn something new and the process will involve how I learned other things in the past". This is however, a very true statement and should be considered whenever you venture out to gain more knowledge.
Research comes in many forms. Below is a handful to consider.
- People you know - friends, co-workers, family
- People you don't know but should get to know - If you want to know how to paint, find someone who paints
- Books - visit your local library; they do still exist
- In-person classes or meetups
- Internet - read official articles about the subject; just remember, not all sources are legit and multiple points of research may be necessary
- Videos - watch videos of people doing what you want to do
- Pod Casts - look for people who have discussed the subject and saved for later listening. There are always people talking, you just can't always listen live
- Trial and Error - if it isn't too technical (no official training required) give it a shot and learn by doing
Those are a few ways in which to research and each area can be broken down even more. For example, 'research on the internet' is like saying ' sail around the world in a canoe'. You don't just jump in without a plan because there is a lot to consider regarding your upcoming journey.
If all you want to know is how to make pancakes, you could visit one site and call it a day. Simply accept the first recipe you find and start cooking. However, if you want to learn the best method for making super thick or super thin pancakes, you may need to look at a few additional sites.
What if you want to add blueberries and every time you make them, the darn things stick to the pan? You may need to find a few more sites that have great blueberry pancake recipes with more specific instructions for making them. Now lets add in the fact you need gluten free or dairy free or some other 'free of this item' recipe.
That's right... more websites.
This is called a rabbit hole or a bunny trail.
You started looking for the best thickest blueberry pancakes and now you're reading about sheet pan pancakes that are gluten free and you just ordered a special pan that's guaranteed not to stick to blueberries.
How did you get to this place? It all started from a site that led you along the bunny trail of seven other sites starting an hour ago.
It's true that the rabbit hole may still lead you to what you want! The trick is not to get too distracted by the hundreds of shinny objects trying to take you away from your task of eating amazing pancakes, hopefully without spending a fortune or experimenting with 23 different recipes. I looked up blueberry pancakes that don't stick and there is an endless supply of possible recipes, solutions, and rabbit holes.
So what is the trick to researching a subject without getting distracted or tricked into believing the wrong information?
One of the main things to remember is that gaining knowledge does not always come easily but it will come to those who are willing to take the time that's necessary to learn.
Think of knowledge as a new puppy.
It's excited to be with you and has no qualms about expressing itself. If you call it, sure enough, it will come to your side. It may slobber a lot in the process, might make a mess you have to clean up, but eventually it's worth the time and effort for the results you will see. This process can be repeated and one day in the future you may find need for yet another puppy... I mean obtain more knowledge.
Use the tools above, and others you may find, to research the information you need for the skill or knowledge you want to have. Remember it takes time and patience to train your mind to soak up and retain what you learn. For some people, it's like turning on a light switch and the room illuminates. For others, it's like sitting in the dark with a burned out bulb. Until you are willing to get a new one, it will be difficult to see the light.