If I’m not mistaken, an important part of what Scott Young advocates for when it comes to learning, is taking time, even only a small amount of time, to research and reflect upon what approach to take before jumping straight in.
In that sense, reading this book is itself a great start in tackling the question: ‘how should one approach learning how to learn?’.
For this reason alone, I think the book is well worth it. Indeed, even if one's ambitions are more limited than this, the book has a lot of helpful, practical suggestions that can be applied to learning any particular skill. However, I think there is potentially a more important reason for reading the book.
I have been following Scott Young's blog for several years now. He has inspired me to take on learning projects that I may have never attempted had it not been for his example. Therein lies, I think, one of the most valuable things about this book.
The book details a mindset that one can develop in which every successful learning project completed becomes a part of a larger whole of learning how to ‘ultralearn’. I’ll quote the book itself here in further describing this mindset:
‘There’s an added benefit to ultralearning that transcends even the skills one learns with it. Doing hard things, particularly things that involve learning something new, stretches your self-conception. It gives you confidence that you might be able to do things that you couldn’t do before’ [p34]
Becoming exposed to Scott Young's ambitious projects has inspired me to try my own and has significantly broadened my own conceptions of what is possible for myself. This book ought to be an excellent starting point for anyone looking to further unlock their own potential.
Incidentally, if you’re not sure whether this book is right for you, I would definitely recommend checking out Scott Young's blog. If you find the articles he writes interesting and useful, I think there's a high chance you'll gain a lot from this book.
I found this very interesting. I found myself looking at some of the things I had done lined up exactly like this Scot just took it so much deeper. Loved being able to go deeper. Great read if you are a life long learner
I really enjoyed Ultralearning, especially enjoyed the varied collection of stories of exceptional learners and what we can emulate in their methods.
My learning Spanish over the last ten years was probably my first ultralearning project, and I happened to follow Scott's nine steps for ultralearning very closely in that project. I was nodding in agreement with almost all the language learning-specific examples throughout the book.
The example that most resonated with me for my current project is that of Vatsal in the Directness chapter, where he struggles to find a job until he independently and directly develops upgrades his technical skills as an architect. Prior to Scott's book coming out, I decided I needed to develop my professional (instructional design / elearning) skills further, due to instabilities in my current organisation. Scott's book has further convinced me that directly working on skills valuable to employers is likely a high return investment.