The 5 Most Helpful Subjects I've Learnt - Chris Rawlinson's choice
Article by Zsa Perry
What are the five most interesting things you've learnt about?
For Chris, our intrepid founder, this was a really tough question as he's the OG (original geek) and a self defined "infovore". He usually only gets to sleep at around 3 or 4am because he struggles to tear himself away from TED talks.
So, amongst many other topics, here are the top five most interesting things he's learnt about.
- Behavioural Economics - The fact that this is on both Chris and Jake's list explains why it was our first course. Understanding people and why they react and behave the way they do is extremely useful. By better understanding human behaviour you can unlock so much possibility in life regardless of who or where you are.
- The art of selling - Nothing will get you to understand what makes people tick faster than trying to sell them something. Without this foundation early in life, Chris reckons he would not have accomplished half of what he has so far. It teaches you confidence and how to adapt your personality to better fit the person you're talking to. It's even more helpful as a testing ground once you've studied Behavioural Economics.
- Advertising - You can learn how to speak to people and you can understand how their brains work, but if you can't put it across in a way that inspires action, none of it matters. Advertising is the art of succinct communication that packs a punch. Chris famously coined the three rules of advertising which are: Firstly, nobody gives a shit about what you have to say. Secondly, if you want people to pay attention, you have to stand out from the crowd. Thirdly, you have to add value. Only if you get these three right, will you have an impact.
- Flying - For someone who's very disorganised and terrible at timekeeping, getting a commercial pilot's license was a difficult, but helpful thing. It taught Chris about the need for order. There are checklists for EVERYTHING, not to be a chore, but because the benefits are profound. There is no industry that is more adamant about learning from its mistakes than the aviation industry and it has even inspired surgeons to use checklists. Every time something goes wrong, there is an investigation. Everything is recorded and the checklists are amended to constantly keep improving.
- The internet - The world wide web is a fascinating invention in and of itself, but as Chris puts it, "By learning how to use the internet, I've learnt how to learn about anything I could possibly want to learn about."
For a voracious infovore, the internet was paradise, but sources of learning that were short, to the point, and fun were too far and few between. And so, armed with the knowledge of how people behave, how to sell, how to communicate creatively, and how to learn from his mistakes, an idea formed, and 42courses was born.