A Powerful Success Technique

Your ability to learn determines your success. If you can easily learn new subjects and master new skills, your opportunities expand significantly.


L. Ron Hubbard discovered several reasons people have a hard time learning. Instead of placing the blame on teachers, society or the lack of education funds, his solutions revolve around study habits. 


The most important habit is to use a dictionary.


The misunderstood word


This study technique involves the most important study habit you can form. This one habit will allow you to successfully learn any subject, no matter how advanced.


To use this tool, you will need a dictionary. If you do not own one, you must buy one.


The best dictionary uses simple, easy-to-understand words in the definitions. It's also helpful if the dictionary shows you the roots (derivations) of words.


Get out your dictionary and look at a few definitions. Are they easy for you to understand? Do they use simple words in the definitions?


If not, consider buying a simpler dictionary, such as a student or intermediate-level dictionary. If your dictionary is too simple, and does not give you derivations, get a more advanced dictionary.


Here is an explanation of this powerful study technique:


"The only reason a person gives up a study or becomes confused or unable to learn is because he or she has gone past a word that was not understood.

"The confusion or inability to grasp or learn comes AFTER a word that the person did not have defined and understood.


"Have you ever had the experience of coming to the end of a page and realizing you didn't know what you had read? Well, somewhere earlier on that page you went past a word you had no definition for or an incorrect definition for.


"Here's an example. 'It was found that when the crepuscule arrived the children were quieter and when it was not present, they were much livelier.' You see what happens. You think you don't understand the whole idea, but the inability to understand came entirely from the one word you could not define, crepuscule, which means twilight or darkness. (Note: Read the crepuscule sentence again now that you understand the word.)


"It may not only be the new and unusual words that you will have to look up. Some commonly used words can often be misdefined and so cause confusion.

"This datum about not going past an undefined word is the most important fact in the whole subject of study. Every subject you have taken up and abandoned had its words which you failed to get defined.


"Therefore, in studying be very, very certain you never go past a word you do not fully understand. If the material becomes confusing or you can't seem to grasp it, there will be a word just earlier that you have not understood. Don't go any further, but go back to BEFORE you got into trouble, find the misunderstood word and get it defined." -- L. Ron Hubbard


Which areas in life do people avoid? Government, taxes, investments, law, medicine, electronics, high tech and so on.


Which areas have the most difficult words? Government, taxes, investments, law, medicine, electronics, high tech and so on.


When people cannot understand the words, they hate the subject. When people understand all the words in a subject, they can master the subject.


For example, if you wanted to learn about forming corporations, you could master the subject on your own. First, you would go to the library and check out several books on forming corporations. You would then go home with a good dictionary and slowly read the first page of the first book. You would use your dictionary to clear up every word that you weren't sure about. You would probably start with the word "corporation." (Do you know what "corporation" really means? Look it up!)


Knowing where words come from (the derivations) also increases your understanding ("corporation" and "corpse" both come from the Latin word "corpus" meaning "body.")


If you had this study skill while reading your first book on corporations, you would never go past a sentence that didn't make sense. Never! You would look up the definition of every confusing word. If the sentence still didn't make sense, you would look up other words. You would not skip the sentence until it was perfectly clear to you. As long as you were using the proper definitions for the words, the sentence would then make sense.


Learning about corporations might take a few days, but by the time you finished the first book, you would have a good understanding of corporations. By the time you finished the fifth book, you would know more about forming corporations than 99% of the population.


You could then form a complex corporation. Instead of paying an attorney $2500 to form it for you, you would pay an attorney $200 to check over your work.

Imagine what you could do if you understood all the words in a subject. You could read a book or manual and do anything!


You could build a web site, repair a car engine, prepare your own tax return, operate a bulldozer, understand diseases, do legal work and handle investments more easily.


Understanding the correct definition of every word in a sentence guarantees you correctly understand the sentence. Understanding every sentence you hear or read opens the door to mastering any topic.


So get out your dictionary and use it!


Your success depends on it.