A new skill may be of interest to you for a variety of reasons. Some of them are listed below:
- Promotion at work is the goal.
- In order to change careers.
- For a sharp mind.
- The experience of learning new skills is both exciting and empowering.
- It’s never too late to learn new skills. Among the possibilities are:
- Would you like to learn another language?
- Is tennis something you’d like to learn?
- Would you like to learn how to draw?
- Interested in learning piano, guitar, drums, or another instrument?
- Would you like to learn how to code?
You’ll find 30 ideas that will help you acquire any talent quickly, no matter what it is that you wish to learn.
Choose the Correct Skill.
You definitely wish to acquire a lot of different talents. But that doesn’t mean you should try to master them all. You’re considerably more likely to stick with it when trying to learn some abilities than others.
When are you most likely to stick with something until you master it? When a skill satisfies the following requirements, you’ll be more likely to stick with it:
You’re incredibly passionate about it; and Gaining the talent will directly impact your life or assist you overcome an issue you’re now facing.
If mastering a new talent for you is merely a theoretical exercise or something that “it would be good to know how to do,” it’s highly probable that you won’t be able to find the drive to keep trying until you master it. So it’s crucial that you choose the appropriate talent to learn first.
You must put your aim in writing as a goal statement when selecting a talent you want to master. However, you must make sure that the objective is precise rather than general.
For instance, Jeremy Duvall describes his desire to learn to code in his article “How to Learn Anything: A Real-World Guide to Mastering Any New Skill”. I want to learn how to code, but that’s a really nebulous objective. He thereby clarified his objective greatly. He set himself the following objective: “I want to study CSS positioning so that I can revamp some components of my website.”
Specify Your Goal
- Duvall advises that you ask yourself the following questions to help you narrow down your goal:
- What particular issue am I seeking to address by mastering this ability?
- Do some components of the skill have a higher chance of being useful to me than others?
Set a deadline for yourself.
Everyone is aware of Parkinson’s Law. According to the law, the longer you give yourself to learn a new talent, the more work you’ll have to put in to actually master it. The inverse is also accurate at the same moment. You’ll need to put in less effort to master a skill if you give yourself less time to do so.
By setting a deadline for yourself to master the new talent, you can take advantage of Parkinson’s Law.
Put an end to the talent myth.
Talent, such as the capacity to play an instrument or create art, has long been thought to be natural. In other words, you either possess it or you do not. The perception of scientists has changed in recent years. It has been found that our actions have a much greater influence on talent than our genes.
Strive to be good enough
It’s been said that learning a new skill requires 10,000 hours of practise. However, this is wholly untrue. Most people associate Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers: The Story of Success” and the 10,000 hour rule. The rule specifies that it takes 10,000 hours to master any given ability, not that it takes that many hours to learn a new one.
There’s no need to try to be the best when learning a new skill. Instead, accept “good enough” as your status. In other words, you should master the skill with the intention of achieving the goal you mentioned in Tip #2 above. It won’t take you anywhere near 10,000 hours to be “excellent enough.”
Conduct Initial Research
Find some resources regarding the talent you wish to master, such as books, YouTube videos, tutorials, classes, and so forth. Make sure you select resources of the highest calibre. In order to help you start identifying what you need to do in order to gain the skill, rapidly go through your resources.
Don’t get caught up in the finer points just yet. You’re merely attempting to create a general mental model of the steps you’ll take to master the skill.
Take a look at the skill in detail.
There is rarely one skill that encompasses everything. Rather, they are a collection of skills. There are several sub-skills involved in blogging, for instance:
- Internet writing (specifically)
- Skills in researching
- Relationship Building and Networking
- Social media usage
- Optimisation skills for search engines
- The use of WordPress
- Your blog’s subject-matter-related skills
- Skills in photo editing
- Video production
- Practice Discipline and Persistence
This allows you to breakdown-or deconstruct-the concept of “blogging” into the sub-skills listed above. It is easier to avoid overwhelm if you deconstruct a skill. It will also enable you to get more out of your practice time.
Whenever one learns a new skill, Tim Ferriss recommends asking yourself: “What are the minimum units that I need to start with? ”
According to Ferriss, there are four tools for deconstructing skills:
- Reduce: Dissect the ability into its constituent parts.
- Interviewing: Speak with someone who learned the desired skill from scratch and has now achieved proficiency. To ensure that you master the skill quickly, ask them what they did, what challenges they had, and any other advice they may have.
- Reversal: Consider what might happen if you took the opposite course of action from what you normally would.
- Think of a talent you’ve already acquired when translating. Then, consider how you learnt it and consider whether you can apply the same method to learning the new skill.
The Pareto Principle should be used. The Pareto Principle, sometimes referred to as the 80/20 rule, states that 20% of your efforts will provide 80% of your results. How does this idea relate to picking up a new skill? Find the subskills that will help you achieve 80% or more of the desired result when learning a new skill.
Understanding a select few guitar chords that will enable you to play a variety of tunes is an example of the 80/20 rule in action. For instance, the television programme “Nashville” follows the lives of several fake country music musicians that reside in Nashville, Tennessee. One of the show’s main characters, Deacon, says the following at one point:
A YouTube video from the Australian comedy group “Axis Of Awesome” that gained popularity a few years ago is also available. The trio acts out a sketch from the 2009 Melbourne International Comedy Festival in which they play fragments of well-known songs to support their assertion that popular music is made up of just four chords that have been changed.
Despite the fact that there are several guitar chords, if you focus on the three or four most crucial chords, you’ll be able to play the guitar in no time. So start by mastering those chords.
Another example: When learning a new language, keep in mind that there are just a handful of words that constitute the majority of what you’ll need to express in everyday contexts. Even with a little vocabulary, you can converse in that language by studying the most frequently used words.
Avoid creating a new wheel
There’s a good chance that someone out there has already broken down the skill you want to acquire, identified the key components that make up that skill, and developed a simple learning procedure.
Then use the learning process that’s already working for others to learn the skill you want to learn. Refrain from reinventing the wheel.
In his book The Little Book of Talent, Daniel Coyle offers 52 tips for improving your skills. He says to start by focusing on the person you wish to become. In other words, if you want to learn to play the piano, take steps like the ones listed below:
Coyle further advises, “Find someone you want to be in two, three, or five years, and stare at that person. Analyze their actions. Observe what they are doing precisely and take that. Thieve from them.Quickly transition from learning to doing. You’ve done some preliminary research on your skill so far, maybe you’ve gotten some advice from a skilled person, and you’ve seen a few individuals do it. Additionally, based on your investigation, you deconstructed the talent and identified its essential elements.
What have you not yet completed? You did nothing. While planning is essential, you don’t want to become bogged down in it. Enter the “doing” phase as soon as possible.
According to Josh Kaufman, author of The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything… Fast!, switching to meaningful practise quickly involves the following:
I believed that reading the books first, then attempting to write my own programme, was the best way to learn. The truth, however, was rather different: I didn’t begin to gain meaningful abilities until I had identified a few key concepts using three introductory books and had spent time actually building programmes.
Do your homework, then start practising in real life as soon as you can. The only method that produces long-lasting outcomes is context-based practise.
Nothing can be learned without practice. Regrettably, practising can become tedious and repetitious. Because of this, learning a new talent requires discipline and patience.
Be Consistent in Your Training.
When learning a new skill for the first time, you may be tempted to try binge-learning and spend a few days working on it nonstop. But research indicates that this is the incorrect approach to acquiring a new skill.
Your brain changes as you are learning a new ability. And it takes time for the brain to undergo those changes.
Consider visiting a gym to add muscle. Even if you practically move into the gym, they won’t grow in a day, two weeks, or three. Instead, you should exercise a little bit every day to let your muscles develop stronger. The same processes occur in your brain.
Reserve One Hour Each Day.
Without making time for it, you won’t just find yourself practising your new ability. When are you going to put the skill you’re attempting to learn into practise? You must plan your practise sessions and allot one hour per day to master the skill.
Clear a Space.
You must choose a location for your practise sessions just as you must pick when you will practise there. Select a quiet area where you won’t be disturbed. If you don’t have a spare space to dedicate to your practise, set aside a small area of a room.
According to the author of the article “How to Learn Any New Skill,” you should always think the worst of yourself when learning a new skill. In other words, presume that the future you is dimwitted, indolent, and prone to poor judgement. Afterward, configure your environment so that it will aid in preventing even that iteration of you from failing.
Seek out the Uncomfortable Zone
You must practise in your uncomfortable zone, according to Jonathan Harnum, author of The Practice of Practice: How to Improve Your Music Skills. Your discomfort zone is where you’re pushing yourself to improve at a talent without going too far into the zone where the challenge is too challenging for your abilities to bear.
To put it another way, you don’t want to waste your practise periods doing the same things over and over again. You should always be pushing yourself to take a small risk and outside your comfort zone. The arousal state is another name for the discomfort zone. This is a passage from Harnum:
Even if you’re paying close attention, you’re still accomplishing your task. You’re probably pushing things a little too far when you enter the “anxiety zone.”
You aim to succeed 60 to 80 percent of the time when training. Your practise sessions are probably too simple if you’re failing less than that, and too difficult if you’re failing more than that.
Set an objective for every practise session
It gets harder to keep going till you reach your goal the further away it is. To solve this problem, divide your goal into milestones, short-term goals, and finally small or nano-goals.
You should ideally set a goal for each practise session. In this approach, you can complete one of your nano-goals with every practise session. This will keep you inspired to complete your short-term objectives, followed by your milestones, and subsequently your long-term objective.
Accept The Learning Process Has Four Stages
The following are the four phases of the learning process:
- Stage 1: Unconscious Incompetence – In this stage, you are unable to self-correct as you practise because you lack the knowledge necessary to recognise your mistakes. The following describes this phase: “I’m not sure that I understand how to do this,”
- Conscious Incompetence, Stage 2 The hardest level is this one, but it’s also the one where actual learning starts. The following describes this phase: I am aware that I am still learning how to accomplish this. You are aware of what you are doing incorrectly at this point.
- Conscious Competence, Stage 3 Although you are skilled at what you’re doing at this point, you still need to be attentive of your actions and pay attention to prevent mistakes.
- Stage 4: Unconscious Competence – At this point, you have mastered the ability to the point that you can perform it automatically. At this point, the majority of flow experiences take place.
Try the following to start learning as soon as possible so that you can transition from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence:
Learn enough about each of the subskills you’ll be working on so that you can practise wisely and make corrections as you go.
Consider filming or recording yourself so you can review your practise sessions and pay close attention to your performance.
Think about what you’re doing differently as you observe the professionals. You can do this by attending live events or watching YouTube videos.
Find a person who is proficient in the skill and has some time to evaluate you.
Do more study to assist you determine what to be on the lookout for.
Find a mentor or teacher.
Let’s face it: having someone teach you a new skill in person is the simplest method to acquire it. You’ll be able to use your practise time considerably more effectively than if you try to learn a skill on your own using books or tutorials if you can find a skilled person who can work with you one-on-one.
Remember that not everyone makes an excellent mentor or instructor. The finest teachers are those who can vividly recall what it was like to gain the talent, as well as the steps they took to acquire it and the challenges they encountered along the way.
Take charge of your education.
Even if you discover a good teacher or mentor, a fantastic book or tutorial for learning the talent you want to gain, or both, you should make sure that you are in charge of your own learning. Consider your learning objectives, then focus your efforts on achieving them.
Additionally, if you’re having problems learning a particular sub-skill, look for additional resources you may utilise until you discover one that clearly explains the steps to take in a way that makes sense to you.
It’s crucial to get quick, clear feedback when learning a new skill. Malcolm Gladwell describes how the Beatles travelled to Hamburg, Germany in the 1960s to perform at local clubs. This is explained in “Outliers,” which was already discussed above.
The Beatles gained constant playing time as well as quick feedback from the crowds they were performing for as a result of this experience. They were compelled to improve as a result, which is how they rose to fame.
When learning a new ability, getting timely feedback will enable you to ascertain your progress as early as feasible. It is much simpler to relate feedback to your activities and make the necessary modifications if it comes soon.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, number 25. We fear making errors, which is one of the largest emotional barriers to acquiring new skills. When you reach adulthood, you are skilled in many different areas, making it challenging to begin learning a new one. After all, you’ll likely feel foolish at first because you’ll be making a lot of blunders.
Therefore, embracing ignorance and working to overcome self-consciousness are crucial components of acquiring a new skill. Accept, as well, that the process of learning involves making a lot of mistakes.
Watch out for the need for immediate gratification.
Instant satisfaction is a big part of modern culture. This desire for instant gratification can seriously hinder the acquisition of new abilities.
After all, learning to code for a few hours won’t enable you to produce software any more than practising the “Moonlight Sonata” on the piano will (shocking, I know).
Finding satisfaction in the accomplishment process rather than the goal itself is the antidote to the demand for rapid gratification when learning a new skill. Instead of pushing yourself to get anywhere quickly, you must learn to love the learning process and the journey.
Go Long 27. You typically take a path resembling what Seth Godin refers to as “the dip” when learning something new. At first, everything is enjoyable, but soon you realise how challenging learning a new talent is and how much you still don’t know. You could be starting to lose patience at this point due to the distance between where you are and where you want to be.
You must acknowledge that “the dip” is a necessary component of learning if you want to overcome these sentiments of dissatisfaction. Remind yourself frequently that if you press on, you’ll eventually emerge from the trough.
Practice everywhere (number 28). In a year, Karen Cheng taught herself how to dance. She says that practising everywhere was one of the things she did. I’ll quote Cheng here:
My secret is that I practised everywhere. at bus pauses. standing in the grocery shop line. At work, I use my right hand to utilise the mouse and my left hand to practise drills. To become a dancer, you don’t need to train extremely hard for many years. However, you must be hungry and willing to practise.
There must be a stake in the game for you to commit to your practise sessions till you reach your learning objective. Here are a few instances:
Consider entering your community’s talent show if you’re trying to learn how to play the piano. You best be prepared since you’ll have to go on stage that particular day and perform.
Enroll in a competency test within a few months if you’re seeking to learn a new language. You may even hand your friend a $100 dollar and instruct them to keep it until you pass the test. The likelihood that you’ll persevere until you master the talent increases with the level of stakes.
Give a new skill at least eight weeks to develop.
Coyle’s “The Little Book of Talent” has already been mentioned in this post. Giving the talent you’re trying to learn at least eight weeks is one of Coyle’s final pieces of advice in his book.
The physical conditioning regimen for Navy SEALs, among other top training programmes, lasts eight weeks, according to Coyle.
You will acknowledge that mastering a new talent takes time if you commit to practising it for at least eight weeks before quitting up. Furthermore, even if you won’t be an expert in the skill after eight weeks, you’ll probably feel compelled to keep trying.