Hyper-Learning Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: Hyper-Learning shows how people and companies can adapt in the rapidly changing world we live in today, explaining how a growth mindset, colleaboration, and losing your ego will build your confidence that you can stay relevant and competitive as the world around you accelerates.

Read in: 4 minutes

Favorite quote from the author:

Hyperlearning Summary

If you were born thousands of years ago, you’d be part of humanity’s move from the rainforest to the savannah. A lot harder than working with a computer screen, isn’t it? Lucky for us, those early humans adapted and survived, and homo sapiens endured

Today, we face another problem that requires a learning leap as significant as that first one. As technology advances faster than a cheetah chasing its prey, your job is at risk of being taken over by machines. If you and I want to flourish in this rapidly changing world, we’ve got to expand our minds and abilities. We must become hyper-learners.

This is what Edward Hess’s book Hyper-Learning: How to Adapt to the Speed of Change will show you how to do. In it, you’ll discover how your lifestyle and ego affect how you learn. You’ll also see how companies can adopt a hyper-learning attitude to survive and thrive.

These are the 3 most memorable lessons I got out of the book:

  1. To become a hyper-learner, you must first change your mindset.
  2. Improving your behavior is the next step in becoming a hyper-learner
  3. There are four pillars on which a hyper-learning business stands.

Ready to learn how to stay adaptable as the world changes rapidly? Let’s go!

If you want to save this summary for later, download the free PDF and read it whenever you want.

Download PDF

Lesson 1: Change your mindset to become a hyper-learner.

The first step to becoming a hyper-learner is to quiet your ego. This begins with letting go of the titles, labels, and identities you have. Instead, take a more curious, teachable attitude toward everything that happens to you. 

An even better way of doing this is through meditation, which is also vital to quieting your busy mind to learn more efficiently. The many benefits of meditation in all aspects of life are clear, especially from the dozens of books about it

To practice it, you need to focus on your breath and redirect your thoughts when they wander. Check out our summary of Unplug to learn more about meditation’s power and how to do it.

Quieting your ego and busy mind with meditation will set you up for improving your mindset, which is the next part of becoming a hyper-learner. There are two types of mindsets you can have:

  • Fixed mindset, which is when you believe that intelligence is unchangeable. You think you are stuck where you’re at.
  • A growth mindset involves the truth that you can improve your mind, intelligence, attitude, and everything else about you. This is the mindset of hyper-learners.

Carol Dweck is the psychologist and Stanford professor who pioneered the science of mindset, and you can learn more from her book about it.

The other mindset to adopt is what the author calls NewSmart. You can get it by changing your idea of what it means to be smart. Focus on innovation and creativity instead of just book smarts, grades, and test scores.

Lesson 2: Becoming a hyper-learner will require you to improve your behavior.

The next step in hyper-learning is to change your actions. Simply believing in growth isn’t enough; you actually have to work to make it happen. And this means even the details, like your mannerisms and the words you use.

Start by looking at the typical behaviors of hyper-learners. This includes working well with others, being teachable, embracing uncertainty, and being open-minded, to name a few. 

To implement these actions as part of your behavior change means you have to get as specific as possible. 

Say you want to start by improving your collaboration skills. What does someone who works well with others do? You could say they are a good listener, but you need to go deeper. What makes someone a good listener?

Looking into the answer to this question, we can see that it means not interrupting others, being fully engaged, and asking questions to make sure they understand.

To go even deeper, identify what the ideal collaborator doesn’t do. Maybe you know of some examples in your office that can teach you how not to do it right. It’s easy to see how bad they are at teamwork, and the things they do make them that way, so you can do the opposite to become what you want to be.

Lesson 3: To help your business take advantage of hyper-learning, you must follow four key ideas.

If you own a business and aren’t willing to change with the times, you will fail. Just look at what happened to Blockbuster and Kodak. Those who stick to old ways get left behind. And those that innovate soar higher than anyone thought possible.

Traditional workplaces are plagued with competition, fear, and top-down leadership. None of these are effective for the ways the world is advancing. They don’t encourage creativity and learning. They instead stifle innovation and all the chances for growth that it can bring.

It would be best if you had a new outlook on business, and it starts with these four principles:

  1. Adopt an idea of meritocracy. Google already does this, and it’s a large part of why they’re so successful. They adopt the best ideas, regardless of where those ideas come from.
  2. Be positive. According to research by Barbara Fredrickson and Alice Isen, we can boost our mental capabilities with positive emotions. That means you and your team will perform better when you look on the bright side and worse when you don’t.
  3. Create an atmosphere of psychological safety. This means having a culture where employees aren’t afraid to express themselves. They need to feel safe from unmerited firing, missing a promotion, or being ostracised for any idea or feeling. This will give them the courage to innovate and help you get to the next level.
  4. Support an attitude of self-determination, which means helping people learn to be proactive about seeking challenges and growing their skills. Let people feel that they are in control of their work, and their productivity, happiness, and engagement will naturally skyrocket to levels you never thought possible.

When it comes down to it, you need to be good to people if you want to succeed!

Hyper-Learning Review

Hyper-Learning is an amazing book that I’d highly recommend everyone read! I really liked how it went into both the personal and business applications of what it teaches. These principles are super important, especially as our world keeps changing faster and faster.

Who would I recommend the Hyper-Learning summary to?

The 57-year-old executive that doesn’t want to get left in the dust as their market changes, the 23-year-old who is thinking about how they can stay competitive and sharp as the world advances, and anyone who wants to feel better about the speed at which our world is transforming.

Last Updated on June 14, 2023

Rate this book!
This book has an average rating of 3.7 based on 6 votes.

Luke Rowley

With over 450 summaries that he contributed to Four Minute Books, first as a part-time writer, then as our full-time Managing Editor until late 2021, Luke is our second-most prolific writer. He's also a professional, licensed engineer, working in the solar industry. Next to his day job, he also runs Goal Engineering, a website dedicated to achieving your goals with a unique, 4-4-4 system. Luke is also a husband, father, 75 Hard finisher, and lover of the outdoors. He lives in Utah with his wife and 3 kids.