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Are you an autodidact in something? What's your experience like and how do you think your personality type influenced the way you learn?






I'm an INFP. I was just thinking about how the activities that I end up still enjoying until now are mostly the ones I taught myself how to do.

I taught myself how to knit when I was 9-ish. I got really curious about what it is/how it works after seeing it in manga, but my mom had no idea how to do it (she only knows crochet). So I found a book on knitting by chance and learned from it. However, the book was in English, and I couldn't read/speak English at the time, so I mostly looked at the pictures. Of course I kept making tons of mistakes and not realize about it/know how to fix it for the first several years, because there were very few people around me who could have pointed it out. (My sister also got into it at the same time, so sometimes we'd share our learning experience, but it wasn't like we were really learning together). But when I do realize the mistake myself, it really feels like I'm learning (as opposed to when someone else points out your mistake, but you don't really understand how it's wrong).

Another thing is playing bass. I was already playing guitar in middle school and took lessons for about a year, but I was really lazy, rarely ever felt like going, and didn't really practice. Honestly I think my guitar teacher was a lot better at explaining to me what's musically going on than my piano teacher in 5th grade. My guitar teacher actually explained scales and intervals, and encouraged me to improvise. But it was all waay too much over my head at the time, because I didn't have a good foundation yet, and he was throwing so many new concepts at me (hexatonic what?) while I still couldn't figure out why I could sound wrong even when playing in the right scale. Anyways, I ended up picking up bass when the jazz band in my high school needed a bassist (they already had a guitarist whose level was way ahead of me). I think being in jazz band was actually a pretty good way for me to start learning, because being forced to improvise to a certain extent made me learn about common chord progressions, and how to play on top of chords. I also felt motivated to push my techniques, although it was only recently that I felt that I REALLY learned techniques (partly by spending more time just f*cking around with the instrument and not feel like I had to be playing a real piece/song. Also this was after I learned more music theory in college). Even though I kinda wished I've had more guidance, I wonder if I would actually absorb much of it if someone else comes to tell me about it, versus if I try to look up/figure out the answer myself.

Aside from those two, I've more recently taught myself patternmaking, digital audio workstation, and basic electrical soldering (yah I guess they all tend to be hands-on skills). I think being an introvert helps in making me focus inward on what I'm trying to teach myself how to do. (To add, my enneagram type is 4w5 or 5w4, so I have a strong tendency to analyze stuff that I'm curious about). But I wonder if I would have had an easier time if I were an NT or SJ. If I were an NT, I might have solved problems quicker by reasoning. And if I were an SJ, I might have really read the instructions and followed them, lol. And I probably wouldn't be as forgetful in general (the NF curse!). But then I think learning by at first getting lost and making tons of mistakes is also really useful, even if really frustrating/painful. At least having experienced that makes what I learn really stick to my head (and muscle memory, etc).



(So i just googled "autodidact personality cafe" in google, and of course there is an "autodidact thread" in the INTP forum lolll! While I figured that INTP would be the type most likely to be one, I'm also curious about other types' experiences. But of course you're still very welcome to post if you're an INTP ^^)
 

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I wish I was more of an autodidact, but sadly I have no time due to the stupid school system shoving stuff down my throat :tongue:

I've always liked learning and teaching, and I'm the type that hears about something interesting and decides to try it when the opportunity comes up (and no 'friends' are around to make fun of you) and/or googles the bleep out of the topic.

I've taught myself how to play guitar (a fellow musician :D), but I taught myself so I just had to read up on a lot of music theory (I didn't find it as boring as people say it is, actually I'm really interested in it), and lots of hands-on of course :) I won't say I'm a bit too lazy with my practice and my technique isn't that great :p And that "hexatonic what" cracked me up xD ....*googles hexatonic*

I also dabbled quite a bit in yo-yo's, quite a whole lot in being a computer super-user (basically abusing computers :p), a bit in cooking (no 'formal' learning though), just random things like that. I'm also trying really hard to become a tutor, though it's hard to get people to experi- er, tutor, and hard to figure out what to teach them!

I was also homeschooled during my last two high school years, so I was spared much of the stupidity of the social high school mentality and all, and during that time, I learned easily as much as I've learned during the entire time I was in school, and much of it actually stuck in my head :p Basically, my parents, as well as my two friends' parents got together, got us tutors, and 'tested' the unorthodox path by letting us take some lessons while staying in school. When it really succeeded, next year we went the pure tutor way. *We* decided when we wanted the lessons, *we* decided what subjects we want now and what we want later, and *we* were the ones who chose whether or not we wanna go to the lesson, whether or not we wanna study today, how our studying system/schedule/pattern/method/wtv would be like, etc. Also, the groups were smaller than classroms (ranging from just 2 or 3 up to 10), so the tutor focused on each and every one, and communication was as close as it could get to one-on-one without it actually being one-on-one, and tutors almost never rushed. It was the best way to learn (for me at least). We were also the ones who had to go look for a social life by making new friends whenever we had to take a lesson with someone new, picking who to get to know, picking which outing would be nice to go to, which people to avoid, etc. You were not forced to be with people you didn't like, most of the time.

I just brought up this because it would be the perfect method to encourage someone to be autodidactic; you're giving them the fuel, and the 'motivation' (that extra 'forced' push, where you're not completely forcing them but getting them to gain momentum, at least), and the resources, and letting them pick what they want to learn and do (with some required information of course, like math and stuff). If I was 'schooled' this way my whole life, I think I would be much better off. But hey, what's done is done :tongue:
 

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Pretty much with anything, I prefer the autodidact method first.

It's something that was harder in the olden ages (before the internet), but it's plainly available now.

I learn best by myself. It's as if I know the exact pace/questions to ask myself that I don't get from a big lecture that isn't tailored for anyone in particular.
 

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I find it difficult to motivate myself to teach myself unless it's for school (or otherwise "required" of me somehow), but I do think it's better than "traditional" learning. I can and will get lost reading on Wikipedia, and I could easily spend an entire day in a bookstore or library reading anything that piqued my interest. Not that I ever really have. The internet is far too distracting...
 

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It's my default method of learning. Pretty much everything I know, I learned by myself.

I don't understand how people can lack the motivation or ability to do it. To me it's as natural as breathing.

I. Can't. Stop. Doing. It. I feel like if I did, I would die.
 

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Yes, I enjoy a constant stream of new facts and information, about anything. In my personal point of view, most things can be metaphorically related to most things in some way. I believe a constant search for facts is part of being a healthy ENTJ.
 

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an ISTP one right here. and I can echo many of the sentiments in the thread.
 
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ENxP (?!).

It's innate. I have the kind of mind that absorbs knowledge like a sponge, makes connections, and can see both the details & the big picture (like adjusting a microscope into a telescope).

Which is why I floored my kindergarten teachers with lectures on palaeontology, Babylonian mythology, and jungle ecosystems.

I suppose it's the desire to master whatever subject interests me. I can't just enjoy something; I need to know why - what does the work mean, what do the critics think, where does it fit into the artist's oeuvre, what are the influences, what is the historical development of the genre, what else was going on at the time, &c? And whatever I'm interested in opens up the whole field - the knowledge (& my awareness of how much there is to know) keeps expanding.

I also want to know (& think I should know!) as much about the world as possible, so I read about science, archaeology, current ideas (National Geographic, NYROB, Scientific American, &c).

I also pick up a huge amount through reading - a lot of my knowledge of history & literature, or different cultures, comes from fiction.

Take opera; it opened up European culture. I went from listening to Mozart & Rossini, to reading studies of composers, to listening to everything I could get my hands on (including very obscure stuff like Boieldieu, Grétry, Reyer, Mercadante, Moniuszko & Marschner). And that exposed me to Schiller, Torquato Tasso, Camoens, Hoffmann, Goldoni...; gave me a (lurid & melodramatic) overview of European history from the Middle Ages on (a Portuguese friend said I knew more about Portuguese history than a lot of his countrymen!), and an interest in 19th century aesthetics. I also picked up Italian and brushed up my German, & was able to read Cyrillic, listening to opera. Couldn't read music, so started listening to the music with the scores in hand.
Or history - I, Claudius got me hooked on Roman history, reading Suetonius, Tacitus, Dio Cassius, the Historia Augusta, &c. Did a teach yourself Latin course.
 

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You are a talented teacher and self taught!! ( I couldn't even teach myself to autofile!! )You will have good children that won't change up when the going gets tough and you're boyfriends will be highly jerk-offs because you're an angel like me (seriously)
I'll be your night caller baby!!
Anybody troubles you - dial me!!
 

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I taught myself how to cook by my ownself .I was so fond of cooking from my childhood I used to watch my mother while she would be cooking or making something on stove ,same thing I used to do whenever I would visit our niegbour's or friends home. By watching itself and asking elders about procedures and recipes I learned many things about cooking.
At first I was not so good at cooking ,specially because I did not had exact idea about how to mix right proportion of spices and salt with dishes ,making chapatis which is the most common part of our meal used to be the most frustrating one because one has to bake them carefully over the direct flame to make them nice and fluffy and it took me years to perfect that art.
First thing I ever cooked on my own was rice when I was 8 and that also after assuring my mother that I would be very careful with lighter and stove .To be honest my mother never taught me about cooking but it was her complaining attitude about my lack of knowledge in home science that encouraged me to perfect myself in cooking.The more she would complained the more I craved to prove myself .
Similarly I taught myself how to stitch dresses and tops ,though I was not so perfect in it ,so later I joined a course to become proficient in that art too.
Same thing goes for singing and dancing too, I'm very good at both and I have given many stage performances at my school and college for which I have always received good and appreciative feedback.
 

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making chapatis which is the most common part of our meal used to be the most frustrating one because one has to bake them carefully over the direct flame to make them nice and fluffy and it took me years to perfect that art.
Haha, that's the only thing I can make well-- a fluffy phulka :p I try to teach myself to cook sometimes, but my mother doesn't like it if I mess up her kitchen. My cooking skill is very sad. I can only bake cakes and brownies, make some dessert like fudge or cheesecake, make coffee, tea, make a meal with rice or chapatti, pulses, (no sabzi haha, which is enough to survive if I am alone) but my family (aunts, grandmother etc.) tease me like crazy because my chapattis always come out in different shapes not round, my pooris are biscuits, and my dosas are usually so crisp that they break at the slightest touch. :p
Cooking is NOT something I enjoy, and I admire someone who can actually cook.

To OP:
I enjoy learning new things a lot. I usually try to teach myself tricky logic-based games I find on the internet, try to force myself to get good at them. Another thing I have a frenzy about is music (singing and piano) that I ALWAYS try to teach myself - through books, internet, the wisdom of people who are good at it. I watch singing-lesson videos and try to practise (sometimes!)
And I love drawing as a hobby itself, so I'm trying to get really good at pencil shading and drawing (I think I'm quite good; not too bad actually, for an amateur) but I can never manage to sustain my ineterest for very long on just one thing. My attention is always spread too thin between various hobbies that I would like to get good at.

One thing I did learn and get GOOD at (with the assistance of my dad, but all by myself/observation mostly) is gardening. I have a very green thumb (from my dad again!) and love it, though I don't know anything in detail.
 
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I'm pretty much an autodidact at pretty much anything

I just pick what I want to learn, search for relevant info on whatever I want to learn from anywhere, then BOOM I learn it
 

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Count me in.
3 out of 4 engrams on any subject I know,on an average are self-cultivated.
Some of them needed talent,some took relentless repetition for reaching my unconscious,while most of them didn't.
I self-advance my other interests like playing the guitar,acting,classical music,psychology,analytical philosophy,programming,hydraulics,cryptography,chess and linguistic compression,foreign languages,writing,etc.
Internet does help a lot.But not as much as a high-strung memory and obsessive immersion.
 
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