Category Archives: Real Learning

Real Learning explained graphically










Table of Contents        Bibliography

These are graphics from the
current edition of Real Learning.





























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The Real Learning Project

The Real Learning Book

Buy Real Learning for $2.99





Real Learning explained

Excerpt from interview with Learnnovators

Learnnovators: We are excited about having reviewed your new book Real Learning.  We couldn’t agree more with Laura Overton (Founder & CEO, Towards Maturity) that this is a manual to empower self-directed learners in really practical ways. Could you give our readers a brief on your book that is also a part of a larger part of your Real Learning project please?

Jay: I’d be delighted.

Millions of knowledge workers and their managers have been told they are responsible for their own learning but have no more idea what to do than the dog who got on the bus (Now WTF do I do?). I want to turn them on to what we know about how brains work and get them off on the right track for their meta-learning journey.

real cover

Real Learning seeks to empower people to use their wits and increase their mental capacity. Real Learning helps workers build a sound learning process. “Teach a man to fish.…” Improving one’s capacity to learn pays compound interest for a lifetime.

Real Learning is for people and small groups of colleagues who are taking their professional development into their own hands. No instructors, no classrooms. It’s DIY learning.

For nearly half a century, I’ve helped learners through Learning & Development but L&D only reaches a small sliver of the workforce and their approach is episodic. It doesn’t do much to improve the organization. Most people are unaware that learning is even a variable. I’d like to show the people L&D never reaches how to learn to learn.

Personally, this is a way for me to pay back the people I have learned from over the years and to leave something of value behind as my legacy.

Forgive a stretch analogy, but I’d like to do for learning what Luther did for religion: make the sacred knowledge transparent. Bring things out in the open. (Luther’s big move was to translate the Latin Bible into something ordinary worshippers could read.)

Naturally, the Real Learning project has my fingerprints all over it. I believe:

  • People learn most from experience, not courses.
  • Informal learning sticks because it is need-driven and usually reinforced with immediate application.
  • Learning is ultimately the responsibility of the learner.
  • The world is changing so fast that staying in one’s comfort zone is not an option.
  • Learning scientists and neurologists have discovered many ways to improve learning but few people apply or have even heard about their findings.

I hope to inspire hoards of people to experience learning something significant and remembering how they did it. Again and again and again. Instilling motivation is the key variable for readers who sometimes need shock treatment to experiment and try new things.

With such a huge need, I’m counting on serendipity and newsworthy quirkiness to get publicity started. We’ll need pilot tests, too. That’s what I’m working on now. If you know of an organization that would like to have hundreds of independent learners getting better at what they do and has the ability to monitor feedback, invite them to join me for a pilot session.

Information about the Real Learning project is at

The complete interview with Learnnovators is here.



Real Learning

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
–George Bernard Shaw

 Aha! is becoming Real Learning.  The old name didn’t fit the book.


Aha! captures the spirit of “Oh, I see; that’s how you do it.” Cool.

Unfortunately, the term Aha! only focuses only on the magic moment of enlightenment. It doesn’t suggest the work that comes before (knowing your goals, tuning your networks) or what it takes to make learning stick (taking action and reflection).

As I worked with it, the term began to feel too close to the self-help snake oil that fills bookstore shelves. Creepy.

I am out to help people learn how to improve their lives by learning to learn and don’t want to be confused with the charlatans and their faith-healing promises. Real Learning is based on neuroscience and what’s proven successful, not the standard self-help bullshit.

Real Learning is what the book is  about. I’m not going to give you a sales pitch. (If that’s what you’re after, look here.) The book is a natural sequel to Informal Learning.  The earlier book talked about the importance of informal learning.  Real Learning explains how to do it .

Change is a pain at this point, but as Jack Welch said, it’s best to change before you have to.