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Accelerated Learning

How your brain retains what it learns

©Psychotactics Ltd. Sean D'Souza. All rights reserved.
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Three Elements to Fast Learning������������������������������������������������������������������������������4
Element 1. Box one, box two, and box three�������������������������������������������������������5
Element 2. Construction and deconstruction�����������������������������������������������������8
Element 3. Learning and teaching������������������������������������������������������������������������ 10
So, how can you get started today?����������������������������������������������������������������������12
Psychotactics Books and Audio���������������������������������������������������������������������������� 14
Psychotactics Courses������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������15
Accelerated Learning | 1

Three Elements to Fast Learning

It’s a relatively unknown fact that the world’s best
chicken sexers come almost exclusively from
Now chicken sexing is simply about telling the
male chick from the female chick. For poultry
owners, especially commercial poultry own-
ers, this knowledge of which is a male chick and
which is a female check is very important because
that enables them to feed the female chicks and
basically get rid of the male chicks, which are

In the past, the poultry owners had a problem The right environment makes all the difference
for your growth. To quickly develop a skill, you
They had to wait for about five to six weeks before need to use the three elements of accelerated
differentiating male from female. When you have learning.
a problem there’s always a solution, so from that
problem you got the Zen Nippon Chick Sexing
School. It began courses in training people how to
accurately discriminate the sex of a day-old chick, not five or six weeks but day-old chick.
People were able to discriminate instantly.
Of course you had all these experts who over time became very good at distinguishing
the male from the female. Well, then you came along. What are you going to do? How
many months or years are you going to spend trying to learn this skill? And how are you
going to retain what you learn?
As it appears, you can do it extremely quickly. But you can’t do it through traditional
methods, which is where someone tells you exactly what you have to do. Instead, it’s
more a factor of the brain taking over.

We see something very similar unfolding in the Psychotactics cartooning course

If you went into a café and asked about 10 or 15 people, “Can you draw cartoons?” there’s
a very good chance that almost all of them will say no.
Yet within just a few weeks of starting the cartooning course you will find that people are
drawing cartoons like Snoopy and Sid from Ice Age and all these complex cartoons with
relative ease. How does this transformation occur? What’s really working? What is caus-
ing this factor of accelerated learning?

To understand this concept of accelerated learning we have to look at three elements

Element 1. Box one, box two, and box three
Element 2. Construction and deconstruction
Element 3. Learning and teaching
Let’s start off with the first element, which is understanding box one, two, and three.
2 | Accelerated Learning

Element 1. Box one, box two, and box three

Let me tell you the story about my hairdresser. His
name is Francis. Now Francis grew up in Samoa
and he was brought up by his grandfather. His
grandfather was a fisherman, but he also cut hair.
Now Francis was 11 years old when his grandfa-
ther got him into their saloon, or what he con-
sidered to be a saloon. Francis was not allowed
to touch the scissors. He was only allowed to sit
there and watch or sweet the floor and watch, but
all he was doing was watching and watching and
No matter how many times Francis asked, his
Most people get stuck in a muddle when
grandfather said, “You’re not ready, Francis. developing a skill. The muddle holds you back
You’re not ready.” from becomeing very skilled. Overcome the
muddle by using the power of great examples.
Francis went through several years of just
sweeping the floor and watching
Then one day when he was 15 he came home from
school and he walked through the door, and his grandfather says, “Francis, you’re ready.”
Francis turns around, “Ready? You’re ready for what?” He says, “You’re ready to cut hair.”
He gives him the scissor, and there is this guy sitting in the barber’s chair.
Now that happens to be Francis’ grandfather’s friend, so obviously he was ready for that
kind of haircut from this absolute beginner who hadn’t touched the scissor, who hadn’t
cut hair. He was trusting him to do a good job. As Francis tells the story, he had no prob-
lem whatsoever.

What’s happening here? Why is Francis able to cut hair when he has no experience
Why is he not feeling any fear when he’s cutting the hair, when he should really be ex-
tremely fearful? This is the concept of box one, box two, and box three.
Box one is when you are kind of hopeless at a task. We want to do something. We know
we should do it, but we’re not very good at it.
Box two is the middle box. We’re kind of good at the task but not that great.
Eventually we get to box three. That is when we have this fluency and when we don’t have
to drain our brain’s resources.

The problem is that most of us get stuck at box two, and it’s the middle box
But you can effectively call it the muddle box. Because when we go from box one ... say
we’re learning a language like Spanish, so we go from box one to box two, and then we
get stuck. We have phrases like “where are you from?” and “what’s your name?”, and “I’m
a professor” or “I’m a student”. Then we’re stuck there and we’re spinning there. Why
don’t we go to box three? Because it’s very difficult to go to box three.
That’s what the chicken sexers learned. They learned that it was very easy for them to tell
the male chicken from the female chicken, but they couldn’t tell you how to go about it.
Here’s what they had to do.
They got you to lift the chick and for you to guess. You could guess and you could say,
“That’s male,” and they would say yes or no. Then you would go about putting the chick
Accelerated Learning | 3

in the box, and so you’d go forward. Male chicken, female chicken, male chicken. They
would say yes, no, yes, no, yes, no. Then suddenly you get it, and no one gave you any

You can probably imagine the surprise on their faces when they figured out that they
didn’t have to teach
The students were learning all by themselves. What was really interesting was that these
beginners were doing as good a job as the experts. Now granted, chicken sexing is not a
very complex job like drawing cartoons or writing a book or flying a plane. Still, to move
from box one to box three, how do they do that?
The answer lies in how the brain works. The brain really has two parts: the left brain and
the right brain. The left brain is the bully brain. This requires all the steps and methods
and logic. This requires all the steps and methods and logic.
Then you have to right brain. It doesn’t require all of that stuff. It’s the creative brain. The
creative brain is able to work out the elements that you need to get to that point and then
feed it to the left brain, and then work out all the logic. Sometimes that logic never has to
happen, which is why those chicken sexers couldn’t pass on that skill by telling them do
this and do that, and go here and do that.

What the right brain is really doing is it’s identifying the errors and eliminating them
When you look at talent, talent is a reduction of errors. These people are getting this skill
by reducing the errors, but not knowing what errors they are reducing because the right
brain doesn’t care. Eventually you’re able to get to that skill without having the steps and
the logic and the system in place.

There was another part of the secret that needed unfolding, and that was that you
needed to learn by example
You know when they were picking up those chicks and going male chick, female chick,
male chick, female chick, well you had to go through about 300 examples before you
figured it out. But not just 300 examples, but 300 good examples. This is where the expert
came into play. The expert was accurate every single time and could tell you that you
were right or wrong, so you had 300 great examples.
After those examples, you were able to do the task.

We see this on the cartooning course as well

What we do is we put people into groups. The groups don’t matter as much as the ex-
amples. Year after year we get lots of good examples. You curate those examples and you
show those groups the examples. What they do is they start to recognize a patterns from
seeing many different examples.
If you were to tell someone draw a circle, how many ways can you draw a circle? As it
turns out, many ways. Some people draw circles with colored pencils. Some people draw
big circles. Some people draw complete designs or a swimming pool with circles. Some
people draw characters with circles.

Suddenly the brain is working out a pattern

It’s working out how to get from box one to box three, completely eliminating box two.
Those 200 to 300 good or great examples of what people need to learn, or rather to elimi-
nate the errors, and that makes them great artists, or great chicken sexers, or great writ-
4 | Accelerated Learning

ers, or great speakers. When we look at the Renaissance, we see Michelangelo Buonar-
roti. We see Leonardo da Vinci. We see Rafael. We see Donatello. We see all of these great
But what’s really happening during the Renaissance? What we are seeing is 200 to 300
great examples, all of them in the same or similar workshops experimenting but also
comparing each other’s work. There is an explosion of talent.
There is this moment in time and history when you have amazing art and amazing archi-
tecture, and we can’t explain why it happens, but really we can. It’s going from box one to
box three, and it requires those 200 to 300 good examples. That’s how you move ahead,
especially when a skill cannot be taught.

We see this in the article writing course or the cartooning course, or any of the
courses that we’ve constructed
We’ve constructed it in this way because we know that if the clients just show up and do
their assignments, and we give them those great examples, they will get very good at that
Now granted that cartooning or copywriting or article writing is far more complex than,
say, chicken sexing. Still, when you go through those examples and you go through a
system, that’s when your brain eliminates or reduces the errors, and that’s when you get
talent. It’s not something inborn. It’s something that can be acquired.
You can go from box one to box three in an accelerated way if you know how to get there
with those examples. The key to a Psychotactics course is the quality of the examples.
This takes us to the second part, where we’re talking about construction and deconstruc-
tion, and how it plays a role in learning, but learning in an accelerated format.
Accelerated Learning | 5

Element 2. Construction and deconstruction

I think most of us remember when we learned to
ride a bicycle. One thing becomes very clearly ap-
parent, and that is no one can actually teach you
how to ride a bicycle.
You can have a mother or a father or some kind
of guide, and they’re teaching you how to ride.
They’re saying just pedal pedal pedal, balance, go
to your left, go to your right. But they’re not giving
you an instruction.

In effect, the left brain, the bully brain, can’t

do anything
Don’t let the bully brain hold you back from
It’s stuck because it requires this instruction developing your skill. Use the power of tiny
and it requires it in a systemized way. But it’s not increments to develop skill.
getting the instruction in a systemized way, and
you’re crashing to the floor all the time.
Then the right brain takes over and works out
the errors and eliminates those errors, and soon
you’re just riding down the road at top speed with no problem at all.
Most of us are not prepared to fall down and get bruised all the time when we’re learning
a skill like cartooning, or when we’re learning writing, or storytelling, or presentations.
What we need now is a factor of construction. This is where a good teacher comes into

Good teachers are teachers, not preachers

There’s a huge difference between a teacher and a preacher. A lot of information that you
have in books or courses or workshops, or even presentations, is based on preaching,
not teaching. The reason why it’s based on preaching is because it’s easy. You can take
information and stack it up one over the other and you can have a book, you can have a
course, or you can have anything you want.
Teaching, that requires deconstruction, so the teacher must be able to break it down to
a very, very small part that you’re able to apply. When you’re looking at how you’re going
to learn very quickly through the method of deconstruction. You have to look for the
teacher, because the teacher will have a system, and the carrier will have a group. Within
that group there will be examples.

To begin with, the system will have very tiny increments

This is what we do at Psychotactics. We make sure that you go one inch or even one cen-
timeter a day. You move very slowly ahead, because you master that skill and then you
move to the next, and then you learn skill A, and skill B, and then skill A and B and C,
and you have this layering system.
Groups make a huge difference as well, because groups or members of the group start
to make mistakes. When they make mistakes, those mistakes can be identified, those
mistakes can be corrected, and essentially that’s what talent is. Talent is a reduction of
But you have to know the errors in the first place to fix them, and that’s how the group
works. A great teacher will have that system, will have those groups, will have those
6 | Accelerated Learning

examples. That’s how you learn, because they have deconstructed everything down to
those tiny increments. You only have to do one little step every single day.
You will still make the mistake. When you make that mistake, others learn from it, and of
course the teacher can step in and fix the mistake.

But compare this with learning by yourself

First of all, you have this book and it has chapters. Within the chapters there are sub-
chapters, and there’s more and more and more information. There’s not this factor of tiny
When you don’t have tiny increments, and you don’t have examples, and you don’t have
all of this facility to learn, then learning becomes very difficult. This is why we abandon
learning. This is why we need to change the way we look at learning, which involves the
teacher, the system, the group, and the examples. Because the examples, those 200 to 300
examples, they’re very important.

Examples can come in many forms

They can come in stories, in case studies, in how to. But essentially those examples be-
come the critical element that allows the brain to filter out all the rubbish and keep what
is important. Suddenly, you become talented.
This brings us to the end of the second part where we look at the system that you could
use to learn. One is through construction, which is what the brain does automatically.
The second is to find a teacher that is really good at having the system and examples and
They will teach you through these tiny increments and you get deconstruction. Then you
can put the bits together and improve your skill, and become talented very quickly.
Now this takes us to the third part, which is how do we use this?
Accelerated Learning | 7

Element 3. Learning and teaching

How do we use this while learning or teach-
ing? Let’s look at how I use this mentoring my
niece Marsha.
I mentor my niece Marsha every day. Marsha was
having a problem with writing stories with drama.
Now all of us know that we have to write better.
One of the critical elements of stories is drama.
How do you create this intensity where people
want to listen to you, where they want to read your
stuff? She was writing these stories that just didn’t
have any drama.

How are you going to teach an 11 year old kid The way to teach a skill is the same way we
how to work with drama? learn best, by being exposed to lots and lots
and lots of examples. So many that you can’t
As it appears, it’s remarkably simple. what I did help but retain the learned skill at a high level.
was I used the same concept of chicken sexing. I
started out with a good story, then a boring story,
then a good story and a good story, and a boring
story, boring story, good story.
You know how this is going to unfold, don’t you?
Marsha was able to identify which was the boring story and which was the good story.
Once I gave her a number of examples, and I continue giving her those examples when-
ever she’s writing, what we have is a situation where she’ll go back and she’ll write a great

Now notice that I haven’t specifically given her any method to write great stories
But she’s worked it out. Her brain has worked out what is a boring story, and what is a
good story. Without too much effort, it has gone from box one to box three, and there’s
very little input except identifying which was good and which was bad. This is now where
the second part comes in, which is the construction bits.
Now when you have to system, when you say now we’re going to concentrate on this little
bit, then you can build on that. That’s when the skill goes from just average to brilliant. It
goes from box one to box three, and then box 3.1 maybe.
We do this on the headline writing course. You are soon able to write hundreds, even
thousands of headlines, which incidentally you do on the course. You’re able to do it
because you can identify the good from the bad, but more importantly, you also have the
construction methods, which is what makes a great headline.

Most people just try to guess

They expect that they can just copy your headline and change the words. They don’t
understand what’s happening. It’s important both to not understand—as you do when
developing the skill from box one to box three—and also to understand from construc-
tion and deconstruction.
The construction and the deconstruction is very critical. The ability to let your brain
figure it out all by itself is very critical, but then to get to 3.1 it really helps to have those
methods in place as well. The system that a teacher will bring is critical as both the tiny
increments and the examples. You have high quality examples and high quantity ex-
8 | Accelerated Learning

That is precisely what happened in the Renaissance

All those great artists, sculptors, engineers, they all came from one age because they had
high quality and high quantity. That is the same reason why Francis could pick up that
scissor and cut hair when he came home from school.
Accelerated Learning | 9

So, how can you get started today?

It’s going to be very hard to find examples, and
hundreds of good examples, and high quality
examples. [1]
What you can do is you can start to accumulate
examples so that when you’re teaching someone
you have those examples in play.

Then you stop becoming a preacher and you start

becoming a teacher. Because they can learn just
on the basis of the examples that you put together.
That takes them to a whole new level of acceler-
ated learning.
Get started on your accelerated learning by
And it works whether learning chicken sexing, starting to gather examples. Collect lots and
writing, cartooning, or any other skill. lots of examples that cover both the best, and
also containing errors to explain.

1  How do you gather examples in an easy way, and in a way that makes the examples easy to find? My advice is to use Evernote.
See the Psychotactics Vanishing Report 059, The Evernote Report.
10 | Accelerated Learning

Learning Summary
We learned about box one, box two, and box three, and how we get stuck in that middle
or muddle box, and how it’s important to jump from box one to box three. How do we do
that? We do that through high quality and high quantity examples. That’s when we get to
The second thing is when you’re looking at deconstruction and construction. While it’s
fine to fall around like we’re doing on bicycles, it’s not very helpful. What we have to do is
find a teacher, a teacher with a system, a group, and of course tons of examples. Because
that’s where the magic really lies.
Finally, when you’re learning, you want to find 200, 300 great examples. But when you’re
teaching you can create the situation where you’re creating good, bad, good, bad, good,
bad. The client is then just made to identify it, and they become very good at it. Then you
can bring in the construction bits. Then you can layer over your system and they move
from box one to box three, and possibly 3.1.
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If you find anything that bugs you, please click on the bug above
to send me an email. Nothing is too small or too big. And if I can,
I’ll be sure to fix it. Email me at: sean@psychotactics.com

PO Box 36461, Northcote, Auckland, New Zealand

Tel: 64 9 449 0009 | Email: sean@psychotactics.com
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