What’s something you’ve always wanted to do? Ever been interested in learning how to play piano, how to snowboard, or how to deliver a great speech? These things to do take time, but they may not take as much time as you think. In order to grow, you need to continually update your skill. Overtime, you need to be constantly updating your skills so you remain valuable while the times change. At first glance, learning a new skill looks daunting and seems like it will take a lot of work that you may not feel like investing. But by breaking it down to three smaller steps, you’ll see that it may not be as hard as you once thought.
Get Over the Mental Hump
Before even attempting to learn a new skill, or trying to adopt a lifestyle of just learning new things you need to have the proper mindset first. The first thing you need to understand and fully accept is that learning a new skill is not easy. In fact, it can be very challenging. But you have to accept and take it on straight on. One of the best things you can do is pre-commit. Mentally commit yourself to dedicating however much time it takes to learn the skill. If you go in with a “dabbler’s mindset”, you’ll always seek the easy way, because you always had. It’s better to assume the worst for yourself. Plan to learn as if you know future is going to be lazy, unmotivated, and unwilling to put the work in. By committing yourself to putting the work in and setting up your environment in a way that promote success; you’ll prevent failure.
Make it Specific
Why do you want to learn this skill? Defining your goal will help you save a lot of time and energy every time. There is a huge difference between the time it takes to become a world-class chef and being able to provide a quality meal for your family. A great way to define this is by asking yourself, “What is the problem I’m trying to solve by learning this skill?” or “Why is the skill important to me?” Again if you’re learning to play the piano to play at your families next get together, you probably won’t need to put as much as work in as someone that wants to backup Bruno Mars on his next world tour.
Breakdown the Skill
Once you have your skill and you’ve made it as clear as possible, you need to make it even clearer than that. Many big skills such as public speaking, playing the guitar, or even painting a portrait are just made up of smaller skills. For example, I’m a blogger; however I don’t just blog. I have to write, research, network, use social media, understand SEO, master WordPress, understand basic photo-editing skills, and apply basic development skills such as discipline and perseverance. If you’re someone that wants to become a better blogger, focusing on each piece individually elevates you as a blogger in general. The trick to doing this however is understanding that you don’t have to do everything. The 80/20 rule states that 80% of your results come from 20% of the work you do. So, in the case of the blogger I would put a bigger focus on the 20% of skills that are more crucial to my success.
So you’ve specified the skill, then you broke it down into smaller skills. What now? From here, watch three videos online or read three books on the skill. This will help you figure out what the most crucial skills/concepts are, then DROP THE BOOKS AND START PRACTICING. You must understand that anything that stops you from deliberately practicing the skill is a distraction, and too much learning can be one of those distractions. Your brain is muscle and like a muscle it must be worked and trained in order to perform better. Like a muscle, you must also understand that you can’t get the all the results you want in the short-term. You must put the work in day-by-day and consistently and then you will get the results you are looking for. If you need assistance on creating the best days possible feel free to check out my previous post on daily planning here.
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