Learning Network
Learning Network

Learning Network

Quick Summary

The intelligence of your brain comes from how the neurons are connected to each other in a network. This network is called the Connectome.


Neurons alone barely have any power. But, together, they become Super Brain. Our brains can do incredible things.


Similarly, when you connect your brain with other people’s in the right way (more on this later) and build a learning network, you create Captain Super Mind. In other words, by combining Super Brains, you gain incredible new abilities.


Sure, Super Brain is strong. But Captain Super Mind is way stronger. Human civilization is a result of Captain Super Mind.


Why is Captain Super Mind So powerful? We are a social species. We are constantly sharing things with each other: ideas, habits, knowledge, emotions. You name it. Crime travels through social networks. Laughter. Eating patterns. Suicide. Divorce. It’s pretty crazy.


This sharing makes it possible to build on each other’s ideas rather than having to constantly rediscover the wheel. This exponential process of growth is called cultural evolution.

Studies show a measurable social influence up to three degrees away. This means that if you’re happy, not only will your friends who come into contact with you be a little happier, so will their friends, and their friend’s friends.


Throughout the previous Mastery Manuals, we’ve been showing examples of the multiplier effect in different domains. The idea of 1+1=10 when combining skills, ideas, and people for example.

The Multiplier Effect may be the most fundamental and longest-running trend on the planet.

This planet started off with just single-cell organisms.

Over time, those became multi-cell organisms.

And so on…

At each stage, two or more things combine to become something bigger.


Most people try to be Super Brain and go it alone.


Even though it’s way better to be like Captain Super Mind. This is like going backwards in evolution.

They’re like a neuron trying to do all of the heavy lifting by itself.


Increasingly the biggest inventions and scientific breakthroughs come from small, diverse teams, not individuals.


Why are we so foolish? There are two reasons...

First, even though it is powerful, social influence is often invisible. This is just like an iceberg. The visible part of an iceberg above the water is only 1/7 of the entire iceberg. So, we judge icebergs (and our own behavior) by what we can tangibly perceive. As a result, we underestimate the power of social influence.


Second, we live in a culture that celebrates individuality. Think of some of the biggest companies in the world like Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple. How many people at these companies can you name? 1? 2? Maybe 5 at the most. You get the idea.


Ok. Convinced about the power of becoming Captain Super Mind and building the right network?

Next, you should know that all networks aren’t created equal.

Just as some individuals are more intelligent than others, so too are some groups smarter than others.

There are two types of networks I want to introduce you to:

  • Convenience Networks
  • Learning Networks

Most people default to a convenience network. Convenience networks are people that you naturally run into everyday. They are your classmates, your work colleagues, your neighbors, and the parents of your kids’ friends.


Convenience networks are essential. They form the fabric of communities.

But they also have downsides…

First, the learning value of these relationships quickly plateaus. At first, you might learn a lot from each other, but the learning slows down big time.

Second, the relationships aren’t built on learning and mutual support. Most likely, you’re talking on a surface level. This might mean catching up on neighborhood news with a neighbor, coordinating a playdate with another parent’s kids, or catching up on life updates with an old friend.

Finally, because the relationships are more shallow, they typically don’t last when the context changes. How many people from school do you keep in touch with? Colleagues from your previous job? Your old neighbors you used to talk with a few times per week? Probably just a handful.


This is where the Learning Network comes in…

Definition: A Learning Network is a network of deep, long-term relationships you intentionally build and cultivate with others who are committed to learning and growth that is based on mutual support for your most important life goals. These relationships share introductions, knowledge, emotional support, accountability, collaboration, and even capital.

Learning Networks have a few big benefits…

First, they are higher bandwidth, so you share more of the good stuff with each other.


Second, when you move or switch careers, you stay just as connected, because you are aligned over long-term goals, not just the current situation.


So rather than stopping and starting shallow relationships, the value of long-term relationships compounds.


Learning networks are key to success!

But, Learning Networks take intentionality and effort to create. They don’t just happen on their own.

Most people aren’t even aware of the idea of a Learning Network. Therefore, they don’t put in the time to cultivate one. Therefore, they don’t have one.

To have a powerful learning network, you need to:

First, build relationships with the right people (we have a checklist in the document).


Second, cultivate those relationships daily with the right habits:

  • Make Introductions
  • Share Your Best Insights Via Blockbuster Content
  • Ask For (and Give) Help
  • Throw Dinner Parties
  • Have Regular Support Phone Calls
  • Engage Proactively on Social Media With Your Learning Network
  • Organize Mastermind Retreats

In this Manual, we’ll share a distillation of the best models we’ve learned for how social networks work and how to build them to be the most powerful.

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