I’m a bit delayed, I know… It’s been a week since I’ve published a TRLT post, but I have a good reason. 

About 2 weeks ago I decided to dive into the world of cybersecurity, but I wanted to go deeper than usual wandering for this TRLT journey. Instead of just researching the industry I want to understand the fundamentals and what better way to understand the foundation of cybersecurity than getting certified in it. Ha! 

I can proudly say that I’m officially CompTIA Security+ certified. 🙂

But what’s more exciting is that I’ve discovered a path that seems to align with my interest, as well as making a positive impact. Cybersecurity has always been an interest of mine, but I’ve never allowed myself to explore it too deeply because I subconsciously had a path already laid out. This is common for most of us.

My path consisted of digital strategy and product development, never allowing anything else into this narrow vision, but luckily this TRLT journey has given me the ability to step back to explore new areas.

The story and reasoning behind why I chose cybersecurity will come in a separate post, so for now I’ll walk you through my intense 2.5-week study sprint for this certificate. 

Accelerated Learning

The average time people tend to study for this certification is between 3 – 6 months, which depends on previous experience, as well as how much time you have to study. I’m in a fortunate position because I have some previous experience and plenty of time, so I decided to condense this time frame into two weeks. 

Before I go any further, I want you to realize the timing is irrelevant, what matters is if you actually enjoy the studies and understand the content. There are people who have completed this certification faster, that pride themselves on the speed, but that’s not the point. The goal here is to actually understand the content, and applying it in one’s life. 

So if it takes you 2 years to study and pass this certificate that’s completely fine… Don’t let anyone tell you differently!

Now, my approach is not for the faint of heart. The accelerated learning approach I’ve taken is one of complete immersion. 

Every single bit of information I’ve consumed over the past 2.5 weeks has strictly been related to the content inside of this certification. The only leisurely content I was allowed would be during dinner with my wife. 

There are two important questions you’ll want to ask yourself before trying this accelerated learning approach… 

  1. Interest – Does this topic truly interest me? Is this content something I can breathe day in and day-out for the next couple of weeks? When a topic gets boring, will I be able to make it interesting? 
  2. Environment – Is my environment suitable for this kind of accelerated learning sprint? Do I have any large commitments or distractions in the coming weeks? Am I willing to stop video games, T.V. shows, movies, podcasts, other books, social outings, etc.? 

These questions are critical. If you’re not genuinely interested in the topic and your environment isn’t ideal for an intense learning sprint, then you should extend the amount of studying time. 

One quick note on “environment”. Some people might say that it all comes down to determination, discipline, and willpower, but that’s complete bullsh**. If you’ve strategically structured your physical environment and schedule to work in your favor, then discipline, willpower, and determination aren’t needed. 

Don’t let others tell you it’s your fault for not being disciplined… You just need to tip the environmental scales in your favor. 

My Accelerated Routine

Below I dive deeper into the details of my routine. Some of you will be interested, while others won’t, so feel free to skip this section if it’s not your cup of tea.

When exploring a new topic, I always find one quality source that resonates and that’s where I spend most of my brainpower. For this learning sprint, it was a single textbook that hit the spot and everything else was supplementary. 

My resources consisted of three textbooks (1, 2, 3), one video course (here), 6 practice exams (1, 2, 3), video Q&A sessions (here), and of course the internet. 

At first, it might seem like a lot, but each resource has its own purpose, follow me and I’ll show you. 


  • For the first 11 days, I focused on the main resource (e.g. textbook). Every morning I would read a chapter without notes and in the afternoon I would re-read this chapter noting down the main concepts. After finishing my notes, I would take a 15 – 20 question test at the end of each chapter and review each wrong answer. 
    • Notes: It’s important to mention that “taking notes” doesn’t mean I’m copying word for word what the author is saying, but instead, I’m rewriting the concepts in my own words. This helps with remembering. 
  • While doing life admin I would listen to study sessions where an instructor would ask quiz questions and answer audience questions about specific topics. This happened while working out, washing dishes, folding clothes, cleaning, etc.
  • Before going to sleep I would watch a video course centered around the topics in the chapter I finished that day, which helped me see the same topic from a different perspective.  


  • Luckily, the exam I was studying for had a detailed list of all the different concepts that could possibly be on the test (750ish) and I reviewed this twice. After finishing the textbook I walked through each concept explaining it to myself and if I struggled to explain one it was marked for further research. 
  • Next, it was time to test my understanding. I would take one practice exam a day every morning, allowing myself one minute per question (75, 80, or 90 minutes), which would mimic the real test. After completing the test I would review all the wrong answers ensuring I knew exactly why the right answer was right and the wrong answer was wrong. 


  • Throughout this experience, I started a 30-day challenge named “Cyber Snacks”, which forced me to teach the topics that I struggled to understand. The best way to learn anything is to explain it to someone else and this was my way of doing that. 

On day 16 I finished working through the above resources and decided it’s time to step into the ring, not allowing myself to delay the exam any further. This point is important to emphasize… 

Many of us prepare for WAY too long, using preparation as a form of procrastination, terrified of stepping into the ring. Don’t be that person… 

What’s Next? 

Now we’re here and I feel free… This accelerated learning process is intense and solely focusing on a tiny subset of exam content can take a toll on any human. 

Let’s just say I’m happy to have the freedom to explore new areas of cybersecurity. 🙂

As I mentioned before, this cybersecurity path is one that excites me and this certification is the first step of many. 

I have a long list of books I want to read, people I want to meet, and online courses I want to take. 

Stay tuned because we’re just getting started! 😉