✏️ Tam's Jam: How to be a lifelong learner (August 2022)
Heyo from CDMX! 🇲🇽 I’m back with this month’s issue of Tam’s Jam: my curated collection of resources and lessons around living a meaningful life.
You know that special feeling where you’re doing something new, and you feel the momentum, and you see real progress in your craft?
Yeah, that’s me right now with Spanish and dancing… and I LOVE it. 🤓
I do my best to surround myself with the best teachers and learning environment to achieve my goals. This is why I’m proud to announce my first ever sponsor in Melissa Wong!!
I hired Melissa to be my coach during the pandemic who has helped me gain so much clarity on what I should do with my life and career.
She just launched a new program called Search Team that is for creative-minded job seekers who are looking to find a career that lights them up, utilizes their gifts, and pays them well.
If you’re having a hard time finding clarity or stability in your job search or are just feeling lonely and burnt out with it, I highly recommend Melissa’s new program.
In this issue: lifelong learning, learning Spanish in 6 months, what to do when the money is too dam good, and more!
👨🏫 My philosophy on being a lifelong learner
I attended three different Spanish schools in Mexico and felt disappointed with all of my experiences.
Every school was still using outdated textbooks and teaching a lot of irrelevant material. Like, don’t teach me what derretirse (to melt) means. Teach me how to order at a restaurant lol.
If I were a teacher, how would I design my curriculum and classroom? Here are the beliefs I’ve gathered after years of being an obsessive learner:
- Learning should be fun and at best, addictive. (Inspired by Firas Zahabi, MMA Coach to UFC legend George St. Pierre and many others)
- It is the duty of a student to get everything out of a teacher, and the duty of a teacher to get everything out of a student. (Inspired by Kevin Kelly, founder of WIRED magazine)
- Focus on 1% improvement every day and turn your flywheel–play the long game. (Inspired by Jim Collins, author of Good to Great)
- Have a clear WHY or purpose for what you're doing. (Inspired by Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why)
- Surround yourself with mentors, peers, and students (under you) on the same path. (Inspired by James Altucher, entrepreneur and author of 20+ books)
There are probably more things but broadly speaking, I believe these principles cover the main 80% of what one should focus on.
Books I’d recommend on the learning process:
- The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance by Josh Waitzkin — One of my top 5 favorite books.
- Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool
- Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment by George Leonard (not the same title by Robert Greene)
🇲🇽 My Journey On Learning Spanish In Six Months
I hate the clickbait titles you see on YouTube: "How I Mastered Spanish in 10 Days."
It’s unrealistic and gives a false narrative to viewers that they can do it too.
In reality, learning a new language (or mastering any skill) is a LOT of hard work.
I started learning Spanish by accident because I got hit with long COVID and had to give up my martial arts goals (yes, there is an upside to giving up on your dreams).
But surprisingly, I stuck with it. I followed my learning philosophies ^ and experimented with different apps, YouTube videos, workbooks, iTalki (my fav), and more.
I went from zero to having full conversations in Spanish after six months using the learning strategies I've honed from becoming a chess expert, community builder, marketer, and more.
It might sound silly but this may be one of my proudest accomplishments since I’ve tried to learn Spanish several times in my life to no avail.
Now I’ve made many cool friends from Mexico and even went on a few dates all in Spanish–something I never thought was possible. 🙂
What I’m reading/watching
- 🌏 What It Means To Be Asian in America (Article - Pew Research) — “The lived experiences and perspectives of Asian American in their own words.” TY Maddie for sharing!
- 👋 The Best Way To Answer “So What Do You Do?” | Clay Hebert (TED Talk on YouTube) — I’ve heard Clay talk about his “perfect intro” philosophy for years and it’s finally out to a broader audience. Make a good first impression with ~5 minutes of work.
- 😮 Useful Hacks (Article - Collaborative Fund) — I tend to hate all articles with the words “hack” or “hacking” in them. But this one is an exception. TY Blake for sharing!
- 🤑 When the Money's Just Too Damn Good (Article — Infinite Play) — Be very careful with how you pay the bills. You might just succeed at it. A fantastic article from Nat Eliason that I resonated with a ton.
- 😂 Wife’s employer received this resume for a position. He got an interview because the manager couldn’t stop laughing. (Reddit) — The funniest and surprisingly effective resume that I’ve ever seen.
Tweets of the month
All tweets can be found on my Tweeter (@MrTamPham)
🙂 Before you go
🙏 Support Tam’s Jam:
- Become a member (and get perks) or make a one-time donation here! My goal with writing is for you to live a happier and more meaningful life. When you support the blog, you're making my writing more accessible to friends (who you haven't met yet) who are on a similar journey. Thank you in advance!! ☺️
📚 My books:
- How To Network: Build Instant Trust & Respect With Anyone You Meet (112 reviews - 4.5/5⭐️)
- How To Land Your Dream Internship: Proven Step-By-Step System To Gain Real World Experience (42 reviews - 4.9/5 ⭐️)
➡️ You can find all past issues of Tam’s Jams here.
😄 Have a friend who would dig this? Send your friend here to sign up for the next issue. 🙏
👀 See what I’m up to right now.
Thanks for reading! See you again next month.
P.S. Thank you again to our first sponsor in Melissa Wong!! As my former coach, she has helped me tremendously to figure out my meaningful life. If you’re having a hard time finding clarity or stability in your job search or are just feeling lonely and burnt out with it, I highly recommend Melissa’s new program.
Tam Pham's Blog
I write about my adventures, learnings, and reflections on living my weird, unconventional life. Subscribe below!