What is Flight Mode Learning?

Flight Mode Learning is the name I use for learning something new under your own guidance. It enables you to quickly learn important elements of new subjects and skills, and subsequently solve problems, even with little to no experience in the relevant areas.

Flight Mode Learning is essentially the same as learning like an infant. It means learning on your terms, and at your pace. It may involve using existing resources such as books, magazines, documentaries, online courses and websites, but it doesn’t have to. Observation and reflection are staple tools of the process, and can take you a long way toward understanding a subject on your own.

Flight Mode Learning involves:

  • Figuring out what you need to learn
  • Researching and investigating the area of interest
  • Observing aspects of the subject in detail and experimenting
  • Reflecting on the subject

This differs from the more common learning methods adults utilise, which are generally based on a list of topics (a syllabus) someone else thinks you need to learn. In many cases, common learning involves an instructor teaching you the material.


Normal Learning Flight-Mode Learning
Instruction Has Instructor Has no instructor
Curriculum Curriculum pre-determined No predetermined curriculum
Learning Strategy Learning is sequential, starting with basic, and becoming progressively more advanced and specialised Learning starts with whatever you need to understand, taking deviations to clarify foundation subjects as needed
Core Values and Measures of Success Tuition is prerequisite for being considered knowledgeable Understanding of real-world aspects of subject is prerequisite for being knowledgeable
Places value on depth of knowledge Places value on breadth of knowledge
Promotes thinking that there are subjects we are, and are not ‘naturally good at’ Emphasises belief that we can learn anything
Admires those who master a single subject Recognises specialisation as a choice, rather than a strength or measure of success.
Knowledge is sacred and protected Knowledge is rapidly acquired as needed