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Yuva Spot: How to Study for Long Hours

How do I study for long peri­ods of time? Hav­ing this ques­tion is very good because that means there is a desire, a thirst for knowl­edge which is very impor­tant. Now we equate knowl­edge with mon­ey, but for that you don’t need to study for long peri­ods of time. It is not just about ambi­tion. The desire to gain knowl­edge is fun­da­men­tal, it is pri­ma­ry.

How our Intel­li­gence Operates/ How Our Mind Works

Once you have this desire to study focussed for an extend­ed peri­od of time, it requires a cer­tain under­stand­ing of how cog­ni­tive func­tions work. Neu­ro­science speaks of cog­ni­tive skills. If you look at how our intel­li­gence oper­ates, we see two kinds of move­ments. One is a trans­la­tion­al cog­ni­tive move­ment, anoth­er is a depth cog­ni­tive move­ment. These are orthog­o­nal to each oth­er. Trans­la­tion­al cog­ni­tion is like trans­la­tion­al motion where an object moves from one point to anoth­er. The trans­la­tion­al cog­ni­tive move­ment helps us set goals and tar­gets and move from one to the oth­er. Most of us get trained in these. In fact, our cur­rent soci­ety over-empha­sizes this. Hence, we always see a cer­tain jump­ing from one top­ic to the oth­er. This will not allow you to set­tle down and go deep. The depth cog­ni­tive move­ment is very crit­i­cal if you need to study for long peri­ods of time.

Sub­jec­tive and Objec­tive Time/ Inner and Out­er Time

When you say time, the trans­la­tion­al move­ment of intel­li­gence gives you this qual­i­ty of objec­tive time. You can see time in terms of half an hour I have done this and next half an hour I will do this.This trans­la­tion­al cog­ni­tive move­ment of your own intel­li­gence lets you mul­ti­task, jump from one task to anoth­er while keep­ing track of objec­tive time. But that is not what we are inter­est­ed in. Study­ing for extend­ed peri­ods of time means it needs to be immer­sive. When we talk of immer­sion, it means you should not jump. The cog­ni­tive move­ment, if it is trans­la­tion­al, will not let you immerse your­selves. It will let you jump from one to the oth­er. For this, you need anoth­er skill, which is a depth move­ment of your cog­ni­tive process, of your intel­li­gence. So to go deep, there is a dif­fer­ent kind of time called sub­jec­tive time. It is a sub­jec­tive flow, which gives you that immer­sive­ness .Where you are immersed in some­thing, the flow of time is dif­fer­ent, it dilates. You don’t even observe the flow of time. This is sim­i­lar to what hap­pens in med­i­ta­tion .If you need to med­i­tate for extend­ed peri­ods of time, you will be doing exact­ly the same thing. That sub­jec­tive immer­sion is to do with the depth move­ment of your cog­ni­tive function.So the depth move­ment of your intel­li­gence is very crit­i­cal for study­ing extend­ed peri­ods of time.

Set­ting the Right Expectation/Setting Your Expectations/ Expec­ta­tion Man­age­ment

When you have this desire, this thirst for knowl­edge and you immerse your­selves in the sub­ject mat­ter, you record time in terms of sub­jec­tive events of cog­ni­tion and knowl­edge. Knowl­edge awak­ens in you and that is the time that is record­ed. So it is not objec­tive time, count­ing every half an hour. This is very crit­i­cal to under­stand. See, for exam­ple, the 4 years of BTech. You get a degree, but do you have that knowl­edge? That knowl­edge is to do with the orthog­o­nal move­ment in sub­jec­tive time, where time is in terms of knowl­edge awak­en­ing, while objec­tive time is in terms of degree. Both are impor­tant. Both are dif­fer­ent cog­ni­tive func­tions. So this is crit­i­cal to under­stand.

Once you under­stand this, there is also expec­ta­tion man­age­ment. Dif­fer­ent types of sub­jects require dif­fer­ent types of cog­ni­tive func­tions. Some are, let us say, math­e­mat­i­cal, some oth­ers are abstract. I’m not say­ing that math­e­mat­ics can­not be abstract, don’t get me that way! But dif­fer­ent cog­ni­tive func­tions are involved and hence your ori­en­ta­tion and back­ground also needs to be tak­en into account, to set your expec­ta­tion. Oth­er­wise you might have expec­ta­tions which don’t match your base­line.

Keep­ing Your­self Comfortable/Immerse Yourselves/ Dive In

So you have the desire for knowl­edge and you are ready to immerse your­selves in that process. Your expec­ta­tion is broad, and not very objec­tive. Once these are set, you will see your body needs to be com­fort­able. If you have overeat­en, depth will real­ly take you deep, you know! So that is not what we want. But rever­ie is okay! So a light stom­ach, and if your breath­ing is rhyth­mic and deep, you will see that you actu­al­ly feel peace­ful and ready to get immersed. You start with a smile, feel­ing good about pur­su­ing knowl­edge, because that is the great­est thing that can hap­pen to any­body.

So have a smile, think about the sub­ject mat­ter, what­ev­er comes to your mind in a relaxed man­ner and dive in. May Saraswati Devi bless you!


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