Deliberate Ignorance Is a Superpower

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

I’d like to learn everything in an instant. My answer to this question might be boring. But whatever you want to have in life, learning is the starting, the middle, and the end point. Any superpower pales in comparison to this most versatile skill. Learning is living. Living is learning.

In the words of Naval Ravikant, reading (learning) is the ultimate meta-skill.

And deliberate ignorance—learning the 80/20 way—is the bedrock of efficient education.

One of the worst teachers I’ve had discouraged me from learning Portuguese in less than 30 minutes. Instead of focusing on what I needed at the moment, he threw every single rule he knew until I spaced out. Only then he asked if he was going too fast, only to ignore my plea to slow down.

I found one of the best 80/20 teachers in one of the most unlikely places: a swimming pool. Paul is a Total Immersion coach, a method of swimming that prioritizes moving through the water efficiently. You don’t fight with water; you use it to your advantage. And most importantly, you learn through the tiniest of steps, each intended to build on top of the previous fundamental skill. The focus on efficiency appealed so much to me that I became a Total Immersion coach, too. Refuse teaching methods that barrage you with too much information. If the fundamentals are not clear, no efficient learning will ever happen. Identifying the basics is a superpower we all can develop in ourselves.