My definition of learning is that it is the slow accumulation of a million fragments of experience that begin to connect to form understanding. Understanding occurs when a piece of acquired information connects directly to a relevant experience.
For instance you may read about support and resistance (the intake of information), but only when you attempt to trade based on that knowledge will you begin to generate what are firstly disjointed fragments of understanding.
When approaching any subject as a newbie we may start off knowing literally nothing, and then this accumulation begins. The fragments we collect are small; the reading an entire book on trading may yield perhaps two or three definite single connections and the rest appears to vanish into the “realm” of the subconscious.
If we persist, we make more and more connections and our understanding begins to grow exponentially as we verify and counter verify previously experienced fragments of knowledge. It is my belief based on observation that real learning occurs when the mind recognizes a link between two pieces of information (usually something new plus something remembered) and then generates a third. These “aha” moments seem to bond something in the mind that is more permanent – the information then becomes OURS. Due to this it is also possible to make new connections from the same information, thus it never hurts to read a book twice or more, as you may often see deeper and deeper meaning in it.
In time we reach a point where the mind contains enough understanding on a subject to be able to generate new information and connections within itself. The critical components in this process are of course the constant intake of information (study) married to real life experiences (practice) over a long enough period (time) to build up the result (understanding).
There you have the formula for mastery :
Study, Practice, Time = Understanding