The next habit that I want to apply is to consistently learning something new. There are many things that I always interested to learn. But the lack of commitment and support by myself causes me to forget about it.
But there is a talk in TED which reminds me that learning is something that is not difficult and takes time. Josh Kaufmann, the author of Personal MBA, explained about this idea. This idea is published in his book – The FIrst 20 Hours. I bought the book once I saw it. It is very good. It has combination of both concept and practice.
One interesting concept that Josh introduces in The First 20 Hours is the difference between skill acquisition & learning. Take a look on below snippet. Josh learned Spanish while on the other side Carlos learned English. This is written as Josh as first perspective.
my friend, Carlos Miceli, grew up speaking Spanish in Argentina. In high school, Carlos decided he wanted to speak ﬂuent English, so he made an eﬀort to strike up as many conversations as possible with native-English speakers. In the process, he discovered Skype and set up his own website, so he could practice speaking and writing English regularly.
In school, I learned a lot about Spanish. I learned thousands of vocabulary words, verb conjugation, and the rules of grammar. I learned all of these things well enough to pass the tests with ﬂying colors.
Those tests, however, had nothing to do with my ability to exercise the skills of speaking Spanish intelligibly and understanding a native speaker talking at full speed. If my goal was to be able to speak Spanish ﬂuently, a few weeks of trying to converse with people in Spanish would’ve produced better results than four years of schooling. At that time, speaking Spanish ﬂuently wasn’t my goal. I just wanted to ace the ﬁnal exam.
Carlos, on the other hand, skipped the classroom and simply started practicing. Instead of doing verb conjugation drills, Carlos was practicing what really mattered: communicating with other people in English.
How long does it take from does not have the skill at all to be good enough? Only 20 hours! It is very less. I red Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. The idea of 10,000 hours mentioned is something demotivating, remembering that I am close to my thirties. But understanding the fact that requirement of 10,000 hours is for becoming a world class is important. It doesn’t apply to everybody. If I want to learn how to play guitar, I don’t aim to be the next Paul Gilbert. I just want to reach the level where I can enjoy myself playing the song I love.
So how we can learn the new skills rapidly? Four steps:
- Deconstructing it to a smallest level of sub-skills
- Learning good enough knowledge to self-correct during practice
- Removing all barriers (physical, mental, emotional) are gone before the practicing start
- Practicing the important sub-skills in the next 20 hours
What Will Happen Next?
In the past one week, I have been spending my first two hours per day on learning to develop an application on my mobile phone. It is a simple thing that I always want to learn for the past few years. By the end of today, I have spent almost 12 hours of practicing. I just need to continue it for the next one week. I already know the knowledge part, because I learned about it in my recent study. Next week seems to be a good time to review it.
If you interested to learn further about The First 20 Hours, I recommend to check the summary in ChangeThis.
* Image created by Pete Facteau