TED Conversations

Jordan Reeves

TED-Ed Community Manager, TED Conferences


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What is the most important thing you've learned on your own?

In three sentences, explain something that you've learned without being told by another person -- something you've figured out all by yourself. Here's an example:

"I learned how to paint with water colors by reading a book and searching for YouTube videos. It took me a while, but I figured out some techniques that really work for me. I'm not an expert yet, but I have discovered a real joy in painting."

It can be anything -- a practical skill (like painting) or a knowledge set (like how to use mathematics).


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  • Mar 21 2013: Technically, it is impossible to "learn something on your own". Everything learned is learned from experience with another person, or something that another person wrote, or something made by another person. Figuring something out, like say a cure for migraine, is not so much of "learning" as more discovering that certain binaural tones work with branches of the trigeminal nerve in the brain in order to essentially turn of the nerve branch that emits migraine pain and auras; or to put it simply, that objects work with other objects in order to produce or inhibit an action.

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