Hi. I'm Arun

I am dedicated to techniques of effective learning.
My experience with teaching, learning techniques, and learning about learning effectively has helped thousands.
I hope it helps you too.

Recent articles

Learning & Education Posts

Writing

Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man. Francis Bacon I am no means an authority in writing or even close. I scored only 6.5 in IELTS in writing and was only an average student. 

Having said that, I like to learn and have improved over time. Credit goes to giants like William Zinsser (On Writing Well), my high school English teacher Gushminder Singh and people at copyblogger.com (God bless them). Gushminder Singh got me so interested in the English...

Read More

College major to choose when no specific interest

Earlier, we discussed how to chose a college major or a school stream when you are interested in a particular field but are confused due to opportunities.

This post is for people who don’t specific interest in any field.

If you are still reading, I would assume you are one of those who are clueless because of so many options and no particular interest. 

It’s OK. You are not alone. In fact, you are in the majority - not that it’s a good thing but still, you are in the...

Read More

Flow for Education [Learning 5x fast]

I have been procrastinating this post for quite some time now. But today I am in flow. I have already written three posts today. This is the fourth one.

Reading about flow in "Bold" also helped. I am going to steal some of the things they say in the book for you. So.. 

What is flow? Flow basically means being in a state of mind where you are focused, efficient, and effective all at the same time. If you are writing, words just come out of you. If you are creating art, creativity...

Read More

What to say when you don't know the answer?

You might think the answer is "I don’t know"

... and you would be right.

However, that’s not what our usual response is to the questions to which we don’t know. At least, that’s what the mountain of research evidence says.

In an experiment, 75% of the children and 25% of the adults said "Yes" or "No" to the questions to which there was no answer i.e. the expected answer was "I don’t know".

It’s important to encourage students to say "I don’t know" as the answer to...

Read More

Proud Punjabis not proud of Punjabi

My cousin, still in middle school, gets punished and fined if he speaks Punjabi. They are allowed to speak Hindi and English though.

There is a very odd wave against Punjabi language running in Punjab, at least in the cities. People who want to appear cultured and modern are shunning Punjabi as it is too crude for them. 

This is happening at a time when Punjabi cinema is getting popular and Punjabi songs are being played throughout India with reverence because of their...

Read More

Happiness is

Happiness is:

Walking for the first time. Being tall enough to touch switches for the first time. Being able to tie shoelace the first time? when your feet finally fit into your mom’s sleepers, then your dad’s. Getting your first salary. Happiness is - a state of mind.

What’s happiness to you?

 

Read More

4 reasons why you don't need to go to college

College education is expensive. Parents pay through their teeth to see their children graduate and study further. Is it really worth it? 

You need to go to college if: You want to mingle socially. College is supposed to be fun. You want to pass the minimum hiring criteria for most companies. You don’t know what you want to do. The College is a good option, by default. You are doing poorly in academics. That sounds counterintuitive but may be true for most. If you can’t figure out...

Read More

Gamifying Education [7 ways to make learning fun]

Have you ever noticed how people slog away on a single level of a game like Candy Crush?
Many of these same individuals don’t consider themselves as persevering and won’t slog away in similar fashion in their academics or real life.

Why is that?

How can these games make someone work so hard even though they don’t consider themselves a hard worker?
and 
How can we use some of these principles to design better learning experience?

Here are some of the...

Read More

Unbiased writing - How to write for an intelligent audience

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. Bertrand Russell Expressing ideas and opinions with conviction: This is something I have battled with for a long time and still do.

In college, when evaluated for group discussions, I would be told many times "You are not confident in your sentences, therefore your argument appears weak." I used lots of "can, could, may, might, about,...

Read More

Maths is weird, and fun [ongoing]

Maths has surprized me many times. I am listing just some of the weird things I have found:

Useful Maths Amount doubles itself in 7.2/r where r is the rate of interest per annum Checking Divisibility Division by 2: If the last number is even, the number divides with 2 Division by 3: If the sum of all digits is divisible by 3, the number is divisible by 3 Ex: 23598 => 2+3+5+9+8 = 27. Since 3 divides 27. 23598 is divisible by 3 Division by 4: If last two digits divide by 4, the number is...

Read More

Other Posts

Stop Multitasking, start monotasking

We are multitasking more than ever before. Multitasking is now glorified to such an extent that people who can’t do it are considered somewhat slow.

However, the concept of multitasking is flawed. It is scientifically proven that you don’t really multitask because you can’t.

So what happens when you think you are multitasking?

You shift focus from one thing to other rapidly giving an illusion of multitasking. This is even true for the females who are generally much better...

Read More

Intensify focus

"Your ability to work single-mindedly on your most important task will contribute as much to your success as any other discipline you can develop." -Brian Tracy

Attention span in Humans is about an average of 20 minutes. After that concentration starts to drop sharply. That’s when you see the students dozing in the class or just sit glass eyed.

In the last chapter, Build hunger for learning, we learnt techniques for generating interest which helps students to focus. In this...

Read More

Build hunger for learning

Would you agree that a positive mental attitude is very important for learning, or for almost everything?

In fact, without a positive learning state which is primed for learning, you won’t be able to learn anything.

The real question is: how do you get your students into that learning state?

Before the learning starts, you want to build a hunger for it. Here are few things you would like to stroke in your students to build their desire for learning.

Desire and...

Read More

Plan ahead and organize

I never planned when I was in school. That’s just how I rolled. Now I know what I missed. 

Myths about planning that bought in to [not any more]

It’s not flexible It takes time It won’t work (I just knew it instinctively. Bad instincts!!) It’s all in my head.  Eh. I don’t know (sadly, the most popular) Here’s the thing. 

Give it just one day. We spend hundred of hours on candy crush and angry birds. Just spend 5 minutes (it won’t probably even take that long) to plan out...

Read More

Make a decision

If you take nothing else from this chapter, take this ? If you just define your goals, learning goals or otherwise, clearly and have them written on a piece of paper which you keep close to you, your chances of achieving your goals increases significantly. 

80% of your success comes from defining your goals of what you are going to accomplish. Interestingly 97% people don’t ever define their goal.In a research done at Harvard university, people who wrote goals were earning ten times than...

Read More

How to make rock solid decisions

Your life depends on your decisions and actions, not your situation

- Tony Robbins

Since our decisions shape our life outcomes, one would imagine that people think rationally through their decisions. Sadly, that’s not true. 

Few people think more than two or three times a year. I’ve made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.

- George Bernard Shaw

Most people think they think but they aren’t. They just run on auto pilot,...

Read More

Health [incomplete]

Just to be clear: I am not a doctor. Use your brain before following my advice and consult a doctor. Don’t kill yourself.

Having said that, the following practices are pretty safe and unlikely to kill you. None of the what follows is original research. I am just synthesizing what master researchers tell and I felt that their message was important enough to repeat. Some of the people I use as references are Tim Ferriss, Ray Cronise, Wim Hof

I am going to tell some facts about...

Read More

My favourite Bloggers and Podcasts

Some of my favourite bloggers and podcasters.

Bloggers Seth Godin on Business, management, marketing, decision making, life and psychology Anchoring can sink you On average, averages are stupid Deconstructing urgent vs. important Getting ahead vs. doing well "I", "We" and "You" Dreams and fears The one thing that will change everything New times call for new decisions Every marketing challenge revolves around these questions I am ’anti-business’, you might be too Goals, strategy and...

Read More

Stop live singing in restaurants

Update: I had an opportunity to listen to some good bands in past days. This post should be:

Stop "bad" live singing in restaurants I don’t get the concept of someone singing live in a restaurant.

Why would you get a nobody (in most cases) to sing live when you can just play the original recorded song.

What’s wrong with live singing?

The person repeating the song is nowhere close to the capability of the original singer. Live singers can’t be as well prepared as the...

Read More

Keep making, keep deleting

For Nitrolearning.com, I compiled everything I had collected from various sources and wrote myself from last 10 years.

In the process of determining what made it to the blog, I discarded most of the materials into which I had put so much thought and effort at one point in my life.

I deleted paragraph upon paragraph, even though I used to think they were awesome and would someday surely bring me fame and fortune (yeah, right!!). 

Why? 

The material just wasn’t good...

Read More