To learn a new skill is a rewarding experience. It’s that sense of accomplishment that you did something productive with your time, but when was the last time you had that feeling?
Take a moment and reflect on your life. How much have you developed since last year? How about the last three years? Look back five years if you can.
Go on, I’ll give you a moment.
If you’ve realised that not much has changed, then you’ve been falling behind. I hope this information doesn’t paralyse you, in fact, I’d rather it do the opposite. I hope it gets you motivated to do something with your life.
Learning new skills is rewarding. It’ll open new doors, you’ll meet new people, and you’ll gain a ton of new experiences, but tackling a new skill can be overwhelming. From the beginning, everything is stacked against you. No wonder why people quit early and never reach their goals!
From playing an instrument to learning a new language, learning a new skill can be broken down into manageable chunks.
In this article, I plan to guide you on how to approach any new skill to allow you to learn faster, excel in your chosen field, and reach your potential.
Are you ready?
Why Do You Want to Learn A New Skill?
He whose life has a why can bear almost any how.Jordan Peterson
I can remember when I gave myself the challenge of surprising my girlfriend by learning her native language – Swedish to be exact – we were celebrating her birthday and she was blowing out her candles on her cake.
At that moment, I knew for her next birthday I wanted to do something special. I wanted to be able to talk to her fluently in Swedish.
How did I do? Watch the video and found out for yourself:
Understanding the motivation behind learning a new skill is a key factor. This is important because there are going to be a lot of ups and downs.
You may get complacent with your progress or you find the information is too much to bear. This is normal. If you have a strong reason, it’s going to keep you motivated to stick with it.
What’s yours? Do you want to surprise a special somebody? Do you think your new skill is going to help you in your job? Or is it going to have lasting benefits to your health? Whatever it is, make sure that it’s a strong enough reason. If not, I assure you, it’ll only be a matter of time until you drop the skill completely.
“Why do I want to learn _________?”
How Prepared Are You To Learn Your Skill?
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.Benjamin Franklin
I had given myself the incredible task of learning another language in less than 12 months.
I decided to research the authorities in the field of language learning. I’d search the web, constantly reading and finding information that I could apply to my own learning.
Most of the time, preparation is overlooked when tackling a new skill. We tend to jump straight into learning a new skill as it’s more fun.
Unfortunately, learning a new skill isn’t all fun and games. You have to take the time to understand your skill, what do you need to learn in order to improve? What information do you need in order to excel?
Remember every skill can be broken down into small manageable concepts, you just need to find out what they are. If you’re not too sure where to begin I would do a quick search on the internet and type,
“Experts in learning ___________”
“How to learn ___________ effectively”
“Best tools to learn ___________”
That should start you off in the right direction.
Are you Practising your Skill consistently?
If I skip practice for one day, I notice. If I skip practice for two days, my wife notices. If I skip for three days, the world notices.Vladimir Horrowitz
As I sat at my desk, I had notes scattered out in front of me. All that was left for me to do was to start practising.
Practising a skill is important, but not just any practice, I’m referring to a type of practice that requires intense focus; ‘deliberate practice’ (also known as ‘deep practice’). If you’re consistent in your deliberate practice it’ll only be a matter of time until you see a vast improvement.
Recommeded Reading: What Is Deep Practice?
In order to remain consistent, it’ll help to plan out your learning sessions for the week. Be honest and ask yourself,
“How much time can I spend in deliberate practice every day?”
Review your calendar and make a note when you can commit to deliberate practice. It’s important you protect these learning sessions at all costs.
Recommended Reading: How To Be Consistent
Are you being held accountable?
Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result.Bob Proctor
There were times where I was skipping a few days not feeling motivated to practice at all.
I would often reflect on my ‘why’, but sometimes it wasn’t enough. That’s when I realised that I couldn’t do it on my own. I needed to be held accountable by someone else.
Accountability is a powerful psychological tool that can 10x your motivation. The thought of letting someone else down is enough to motivate you.
Ask a family member or a person you can trust to hold you accountable. Get them to check-in on you every day/week or month. If you can, put something on the line as it’ll act as a powerful psychological tool.
If you don’t know anyone who can hold you accountable, why not ask me?
Can you teach Your Skill?
While we teach, we learn.Seneca
A few weeks had gone by since I successfully surprised my girlfriend. I was still buzzing from it. It was a year riddled with perseverance and determination, but I eventually reached my goal.
In my journey, I realised I had grown significantly and I had attained new knowledge that I wanted to share. This led me to create ‘Galiway’. A place to write down what I learned and teach anyone who wanted to listen.
Teaching a skill to another person is an effective way to speed up your own learning. By explaining complex concepts to another person, it forces you to break down concepts as simply as possible. This helps you understand and process the information better.
Don’t start teaching straight away, especially if you haven’t grasped specific concepts. You should only start teaching once you’ve gained enough experience under your belt.
Find a family member or someone who is willing to listen. If you can’t find anyone who wants to listen, create a blog and write down your findings. Try to tackle a complex concept and teach it as simply as possible.
Learn A New Skill Today
Ordinary people seek entertainment. Extraordinary people seek education and learning.Benjamin Hardy
Learning a new skill can be a daunting task. I’m not surprised why the majority of people feel overwhelmed and give up before they’ve started.
If you want to develop yourself and have no idea what skill to learn first, you can visit my blog. It’s packed full of skills that I’ve learned in the past. Perhaps, you will feel inspired to start learning a new skill.
If you’re in the middle of your learning journey and you feel like you’ve plateaued, or you’re overwhelmed with starting a new skill, feel free to send me a message and we can discuss your problems.
In a years time when you reflect back on your life and notice significant growth, I hope it was this article that started you off in the right journey.