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How do you conduct your Breadth studies?

Breadth studies are any studies which takes you outside of your field of specialization. You want to do breadth studies as it helps you to rest from your field of specialization.

Today, there are so much information about different subjects from books, MOOC and internet blog posts. We need an approach on how to conduct our breadth studies without becoming a dilettante and make the studies to be sustainable.

Criteria for picking subjects

Don’t learn something for the sake of learning or because it is popular (appearing in media and news article). Instead, consider using below criteria as a guide to your decision:

  • Humanity-Natural reason: Subjects that makes you be more connected as a human and to nature.
  • Complementary reason: Subjects which helps to advance yourself further in your field of specialization.
  • Exploratory reason: Subjects in which you might want to add to your specialization but unsure now.
  • Practical-Living reason: Subjects which teaches you how to live practically in modern world.

One of the most practical truths that Daniel Miessler shared is that learning is an integration problem. When you learn something new, you have to decide whether to integrate this new thing into your life and work.

There are many techniques available (e.g. Spaced Repetition) which can help you memorize this new thing that you are learning. At some point, you cannot just remember things. You need to consider whether to integrate this thing into your life or dropped it because it is too difficult to integrate into your work / life.

For Breadth studies, you will face the integration problem. If you cannot integrate what you learned in your Breadth studies to your actual work or life, then it will not be sustainable. Think hard about how you can use this thing that you have learned.