The Future of Holistic Learning

I’m looking to expand on the subject of holistic learning. The topic has been one of my most popular ones I’ve brought up on this blog and along with Habitual Mastery it has received the most attention. I’d like to expand the idea, fix some of the flaws and make it more practical. But first, I need your help.

For those new to the blog, holistic learning is a type of learning that involves interlinking ideas. I wrote an e-book about it here.

I’ve been lucky to receive a lot of great ideas from this blog before, so I’m hoping to tap you as a resource again. Here’s what I’d like to know:

1) Has holistic learning changed any of your habits?

Most the complaints I’ve been seeing are that it isn’t practical enough. Few people disagree with the broad concept, but when it comes to actually turning abstract ideas into practical solutions it breaks down.

If you have made some adjustments to your learning style as a result of holistic learning I’d like to hear it. Many of the ideas I discuss in the book are automatic for me. I’d like to know what habits and skills need to be built in order for the concept to work.

2) What is your biggest learning challenge right now?

Are you a student? Whether your profession right now is learning, or you’ve already got a degree, I’d like to know what your biggest obstacle to learning is right now. Describe the problem any way you like, but here are a few examples I’ve heard:

  • Overload – I feel I can’t keep up with the amount of information.
  • Memory – I can’t recall information I’ve learned.
  • Arbitrary – I need to memorize information that has no specific pattern (lists of names, specific syntax, dates, etc.)
  • Transference – I understand the facts, but using them to solve outside applications is tricky.
  • Comprehension – I simply don’t understand how the information fits together.

3) What are your learning goals?

I expect everyone here (not just students) want to learn more. What are your learning goals right now? Not just what degree, skill or profession you want, but what do you actually want to know?

Further Suggestions

I plan to do a bit of holistic learning of my own. I want to pour through every available information of both psychology and the study of learning I can find in the next few months. From that and your suggestions I’m hoping I can expand the concept of holistic learning to include more scientific theories and usable practices.

If anyone wants to point me in the direction of information either on learning, psychology or studying I’d be grateful.

Finally, if you have any suggestions about what kind of format you’d like to see the results of these ideas in, I’m open to suggestions. Do you like e-books? Paperbacks? Multimedia? In-person classes/tutorials? It is still incredibly early to discuss a final product, but any preferences will help me when I need to cross that bridge.

You can contact me here (form is at the bottom of the page) or in the comments section of this post. Alternatively, just e-mail me at

  • Dror Engel

    1) Has holistic learning changed any of your habits?
    no yet
    2) What is your biggest learning challenge right now?
    basically Comprehension but also improve Memory and Arbitrary

    3) What are your learning goals?
    I want to learn a new language using this method.
    I also what to improve my brainstroming abilities

    I will be happy to read more about:
    1. what are the cons and pros of this method
    2. Best Pracitices
    3. little examples that show the advantages of holistic learning


  • Rajesh

    I’m an MBA and now working.. what i’ve felt that continuous learning is the most important part of our personal and overall development.

    I continuously go through lots of personal development books, blogs, podcasts etc. and what i’ve observed that if i can’t able to recall what I’ve learnt when i most need it…. learning become very frustrating.. i get a feeling that why i’m learning at all if i can’t recall it at the time for which i’m learning it….

    regarding holistic learning retrieval is the most tricky part… if i can retrieve informations at ease then learning will become very interesting and piece of cake….

  • Mark IJbema

    One of the things i ran into recently is that i don’t know how to learn and remember historic events. I’m used to learning math and CS subjects, which have a very different structure. More conceptual it might be interesting how you would tackle learning a subject which has different structuring than previous ones encountered (history is just one example, i’d assume that learning law for instance is again quite different).

  • Scott Young


    I believe much of the system is similar, even if the specifics are different. History, languages and law have patterns but the information is less obviously based on those patterns than math or science.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  • Rajesh

    I’m eagerly waiting for Version 2…

  • James Gibbins

    I emailed you a couple days ago. Hope you’re still interested in help. :)

  • Scott Young


    I’ll check my inbox. I’m not sure whether I received the message. If you want to send it again I can get back to you right away.


  • john Q

    Hi, one question i have about holistic learning is that when you are sitting in class and your basically trying to understand the material that is being thrown at you (bricks), how do you go about …i.e how do you start? Do you begin with one of these bricks and enlarge it to create an eventual full understandable construct?

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