How to Learn a New Skill

How to Learn a New Skill

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.

Practice!!!!!!!!!!

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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Goals. System. Follow Through.

Goals. System. Follow Through.

Money comes easy when you do two things

Simplify and organize. 

Allowing your money to  move beyond you and what you are able to control is a recipe for disaster. While life would be a lot better with a personal accountant who could just do all of that for us, majority of us don’t need that at all.  By knowing what you want to do with your money, with some simple planning and organization you’ll be able to get where you want in no time. Set Goals.  Make a System.  Follow through with your system.  Eventually, I’ll go deeper into this but until then eat, breathe, and sleep this statement. “Set Goals.  Make a System.  Follow through with the system.” Getting rid of the clutter, and clearing the path will make this journey a whole lot easier.

3 Tips for Improving Your Communication Skills

3 Tips for Improving Your Communication Skills

No matter where you go, you’ll need to be able to communicate– whether it be with a group of people, or a presentation in front of hundreds .  The key to  improving your communication is to remember the reason you communicate in the first place.  When we communicate, we are trying to dig deeper into someone by talking to them.  Tips can be helpful but maintaining that mindset can be a whole lot helpful.

Listen

The number one issue with communication is people generally fail to listen.  A lot of people hear what’s being said without actually understanding what’s being said.  Listening with the intent of understanding is called active listening.  Strive to be an active listener because this makes a conversation much easier and smoother.  When you imagine a conversation as a game of ping-pong; a conversation that flows is similar to two people who hit the ball back and forth to each other with ease. The game flows because the players flow.  When you don’t actively listen it’s as if one player serves the ball to one person and then the other person instead of just hitting the ball, stops it and then re-serves it; hence the awkward conversations.

Don’t think of what to say

Spending the conversation trying to think of what to say distracts you from the conversation.  I was a big offender of this.  I had social anxiety when I was younger, so when speaking to someone after the usual “what’s up” or “how’ve you been?”,  I was at a loss for words so I instantly started thinking of new conversations and topics to talk about; instead of listening and participating in the conversation at hand.  When it was my turn to speak, I would have nothing to talk about, so I would use up all of the topics I had in queue.  Please don’t make the mistake I did.  You’d be surprised at how much just listening makes conversations more enjoyable.

Seek to Understand

The overall goal of communicating is to understand the person you’re talking to.  People give clues about who they truly when they speak.  When they laugh at certain things, when they become more defensive at certain points, when they can’t stop talking about a certain someone; these all give you clues to who they really are. Not only their name and what they do, but their motivations and beliefs.  What drives them?  Why do they do what they do?  This is why relationship experts recommend new couples to spend as much as possible communicating.  When you’re in the honeymoon phase, it’s easy to get caught up in physical characteristics and everything on the surface. Conversation is meant to be the counter to that.

Did I miss any thing?  What has helped you become a better communicator? Feel free to comment below.

New Year, New Me

New Year, New Me

Happy New Year Family! I pray you all are as excited for the new year as I am.  2017 is going to be great year I can feel it.

With the new year coming in, you’ve most likely heard the saying “New Year, New Me”.  With the passing of the 2016, most of us want to look past it and start with a clean slate.  So with that being said, who is the “new you”?  While we do want to move past 2016, we forget to define what we want to be in 2017.  To put you on the right track, I wanted to discuss the concept of branding for a moment.

What is A Brand?  A Brand is a definition of who you are, through the eyes of others.  When you think about Nordstrom, what comes to mind?  When you think of Donald Trump, what comes to mind?  When you think about Apple, what comes to mind.  These experiences, feelings, and opinions you have about what I just named comes together to form a brand. Always remember, first impressions really do matter, but most of the time our brands are actually the ones that do the talking for us; and without the proper brand management theres a good chance your first impression wont be the best one.

If know anything about branding, you’ll most likely hear this word associated with companies such as Apple.  Right now, they have the most valuable brand, which in dollar terms comes out to about 154 billion dollars.  That have 154 billion dollars basically because they make their customers feel good about their products.  I don’t think this really merits any proof, just check out the thousands of people who line up waiting for the iPhone when it’s released.  How many times have you ever heard someone say “I would buy _____ cause it’s apple” or “Apple made _____ so it must be the legit”.

A brand is simply a promise that make you to anyone that would want something from you.  So for the year of 2017 what will be your brand?  Instead of just hoping 2017 is good year, let’s make it a good one.

#Takeaways from “The Way of the Superior Man”

#Takeaways from “The Way of the Superior Man”

I took the time this week to re-read a classic by David Deida and really thought I should share it. If you haven’t heard of or read this book then you should really consider doing it.  The author addresses a good amount of topics, but pretty much focuses on a man and his personal life & his relationships. I took some of the most important points (to me) out of the book and listed them here, however, I would really encourage to take a look at it if you can.

When discussing something with your girlfriend/wife stay firm in what you what you believe

Don’t change your mind based on your girlfriend/spouse.  Take what she says into account and make a decision based off of that, but don’t let her make all of the decisions.  The consequences of those decisions will be on you regardless of what you choose in the long-run.  Women desire someone that can make decisions.

Purpose>Relationship

Women are attracted to a man that walks in his purpose.  Don’t sacrifice working on your purpose for your girlfriend/spouse or you will lose the one thing that made her attractive to you in the first place.

Never forget your bros

Have a talk with some of your guys once in a while (the book says once a week) about what you’re doing in your life and what you want to, but are afraid of doing.

What do women want?

You girlfriend/spouse doesn’t want to think that you NEED her.  You should be able to handle yourself.  No matter how much she test you, no matter how much she scares you, or no matter how much she tries to move you.  If she tests you and you fail, she will consider you to be weak, which leads to her trusting you less.

Why doesn’t she ever know what she wants to eat?

A girl is rarely ever talking about the topic at hand.  She’s just addressing her current feelings.  If she doesn’t know what she wants, she really doesn’t know.  She just knows what she feels at that actual moment, which could change the very next second.

Focus on the Love

One thing people tend to do in a relationship is tolerate someone.  Tolerating someone always leads to resentment.  Just continue to love one another and and she will open up back up to you.

You always start at Zero

Don’t think your excellent track record will work when she’s upset.  What matters now, is the situation at hand.  Just restore love and happiness into the situation.

Focus on the Love Pt. 2

Hang this one up on your wall or something: Whenever she is in a bad mood, just make the assumption she is not loved.

It’s all on you bro

A girl’s greatest desire in a relationship to feel as though she always being led.  She wants you to be able to do it without her asking or having to figure it out.  Anytime you talk to her and expect her to analyze her mood and situation to the point of being able to fix it, you’re talking to her like one of the guys.  She can do it, but if she’s upset it’s probably not the best way to go about fixing it.

Which one of these do you think you could see yourself putting into practice first?  Let me know in the comments below.

5 Things You Should Have on you at all Times

5 Things You Should Have on you at all Times

While I don’t believe I’m qualified to tell you what you should have on you at all times or something, there are things I know you should have on you at all times. This isn’t because these are signature pieces that you have to make your stand out or whatever, but they help you accomplish things every day that help you achieve your goals and fit with the Kaizen Mantra. Here are the five things you should have on you at all times.

Wallet

I put this first because I think this is common sense. You literally need your wallet for everything. Most of your key cards should be in your wallet. Driver’s license, Debit Cards, Credit Cards, Insurance Cards, pictures, business cards, and the list goes on. Please don’t walk around with a brick in your pocket, if it starts to get bulky take some time out to purge it of the things you don’t really need.

Journal

Out of everything on this list, this might be the hardest to adopt. Most guys I know aren’t really accepting of the journal idea because when they think journal they think diary. A journal is a great way to get your thoughts out of your brain and get them somewhere where you can really get them down. How many times did you think of an awesome idea and then hate yourself later for not writing it down after you forgot it 10 minutes later? To me a journal has 2 main purposes. Writing down and reflecting all the awesome thoughts and experiences throughout the day and they give you a way to measure your growth throughout the years. Think of it like social media but without the risk of someone seeing all the childish things you posted from 5 years ago.

Phone/Tablet

Now phones are tablets are a touchy subject. While they are EXTREMELY useful when used correctly, they can be EXTREMELY counterproductive when used for the wrong reason. But I’m here to talk about what you should have in your pocket… so we’ll discuss the positives here. A phone/tablet is good to have at all times because they keep you connected (its main purpose), but because of all the apps available to us they become an “all in one” solution. Many of the options I have on this list can be covered using a phone/tablet. Whether you get one or the other is absolutely dependent on personal preference. Many people I know to keep themselves focused use they prefer to keep a phone simply for communication and the tablet for everything else. Just something to think about.

To-Do List/Productivity

We cover productivity on this blog a lot; and for a very good reason too. A man should always be doing something. There’s no way that a man should remain comfortable and doing absolutely nothing. Unless you’re taking the time to relax from working that hard. For this reason, a man should always have his To-do list ready and accessible to reference whenever he needs to figure out “what’s next?” Whether you keep this in your journal or you keep it in your phone on app, always have it ready to add and subtract the tasks that will push you closer to reaching your goals/dreams.

Music/Books

Music is a window to the soul and books are a window to the souls of others. As a musicians I consider it to be my civic duty to always divulge in some new music as much as I can. I personally recommend Spotify, I’ve been satisfied with them for as long as they’ve been around. I love them because you not get access to the music that you love, but it’s great for introducing you to great music that you don’t know of yet. As for books, I believe everyman should have a good book (or at the minimum a blog/news source) ready to go whenever you have some down time or you just feel like absorbing some knowledgeable. I have these two together because while you can carry an actual book or have an iPod, or a Walkman if you into the whole vintage thing; it’s easier to download the apps on your phone or tablet.

How to Create the Perfect Day

How to Create the Perfect Day

I’m a firm believer that everyone desires to be great. I don’t believe that there isn’t one person on this earth that looks at their current state and every fully accepts where they are. While I do believe everyone desires to be great, not everyone will be great. Achieving great and amazing things will take tons of hard work. We’d like to imagine a world where success depends on that one “miracle moment.” However in reality, it’s founded on years of hard work. Day after day of continuous work, that leads up to one moment which opens up the doors to what you see now. If you’re anything like myself, it’s easy to get caught up in the really big moments and projects, and get turned off by the details. But since the little days lead to the big ones, lets focus on create the most amount of “perfect” days you can. Grab a sheet a paper or note taking app, create 4 sections and let’s get to work:

1. 5 MITs (Most Important Tasks)

Start out by listing out the 5 most important tasks you have to do to get you closer to your goal. By having these tasks listed out for you in the morning, you should be ready to attack to them first thing in the morning. You may be surprised to know that having too much on your plate for one day can you make you oddly enough less effective. Setting a small attainable number of tasks figured and planned out will help you clear your mind and better prepare you for your day.

2. People To contact

For this next section, I want you to make a list of the people you need to text, call, connect, and email for the day. Of course these most likely won’t be the only people you connect with. The purpose of the section is to make sure that you connect with the people you need to that day. Don’t overlook this portion of your day. Working 25 hours a day won’t make a difference if you don’t have the network to elevate you.

3. Things To-Do

To me personally, there’s a difference between things to do and tasks to do. This varies from person to person. When you split up your life into the several areas it encompasses, there are certain things that you need to do habitually in order to maximize that area. For example, in order to succeed spiritually, you must keep up with your devotional time and studies. In order to succeed physically, you must work out regularly and watch your diet. So what are the things that you have to do today? Do you need to practice drums? Do you need workout? Do you need time to practice a new language? Prioritize it by putting it here.

4. Appointments

Saving the best for last are appointments. Appointments can be dinner meetings with a business partner, a date with your partner, church, etc. Anything you have to be at, where you’re unable to do other work at, is an appointments. Appointments should set the foundation for your day, so you should be making it a priority to only accept appointments you need to accept.

 

After looking over this list, think about the different things on this list. Now think about tomorrow. How can you make tomorrow more effective? How can you make a tomorrow one of those days future you will thank you for? Start now by making planning your tomorrow, today.