There are no shortcuts, hacks, or gifts you can rely on. Success only comes with sheer PRACTICE, PRACTICE, and PRACTICE. If you have what it takes, anything can be learned and perfected. There is practically no limit to your abilities.
To help you along the way, we have gathered a list of 11 powerful tricks. These carefully selected tricks set you right on the path of skill improvement and betterment.
- Set Realistic Expectations
- Take Charge
- Identify subskills
- Master of All
- Perfection Is An Illusion
- Befriend Challenges
- Failures Are Stepping Stones
- Find Your Environment
- Constantly Improve
- Your Unique Learning Way
- Attention to Details
Stick to the very end for an essential bonus tip! Let us begin by unfolding these 11 secret tricks for you.
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Set Realistic Expectations
Unrealistic expectations are the biggest hurdles in your learning journey. If you set ginormous goals for yourself, it will lead you to nothing but disappointments. The best way to set your goals is to -
- Know why you want to learn
- Identify your learning habits and patterns
- Be honest and transparent with yourself
- Chalk out a time schedule that works for you
- Monitor your progress and look for areas of refinement
A pro tip for all you beginners, learning a new skill or improving existing ones, is to set small goals. Achieving small targets will give you a feeling of satisfaction and significantly arouse your interest in learning.
Statistically speaking, it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to learn any new skill. Your actual challenge is to break up these 10,000 hours in the most profitable manner. Develop your minimum commitment model for an upward learning curve. This way, you discipline yourself to a minimum stipulated hours of learning.
Keep in Mind - Beginning a journey is always the toughest. Be kind to yourself and proceed with ardent determination.
You need to be involved to learn anything new. It is not sufficient to gain virtual knowledge or cram methodologies. If you want to improve a skill, devote every ounce of your energy to active participation.
Having a proactive approach here is key. A proactive approach allows you to be more energetic and take responsibility for your learning and build a suitable plan to proceed. Begin with these simple steps to take charge -
- Identify the skill you want to learn or improve
- Do your research
- Find assistance, if you want any
- Gather the requisite
- Jump straight away to practice
Keep in Mind - There is no substitute for hands-on experience and practice. The best learning comes from repeated actions and experience. Take charge to own your learning.
Every mega skill is made up of many tiny skills. For example, the skill of playing the guitar has a sub-skill of knowing how to strum the chords. You will produce the best tune only if you know the basics of strumming the chords.
An ideal way for skill improvement is to -
- Breakdown a skill
- List various sub-skills
- Rank each sub-skill
- Always start with the basics
Keep in Mind - Not every skill will have evident subskills. You need to observe and extract a sub-skill for yourself.
Master Of All
We have all hear a figure of speech that goes something like this,
Jack of all trades, master of none.
It is used for someone who has dabbled into multiple skills without gaining actual expertise in any. If you want to improve your skill this is not the person you should be aiming to become.
Not only does it seem kitsch but also gives others a chance to question your expertise.
Keep in Mind - Your goal should be to pick up new things and constantly work to improve them. Learning a skill halfway is never a good practice.
Perfection Is An Illusion
Why is mastering a skill to perfection bad?
- It is time-consuming
- It is not realistic
- It is limiting
- It is mentally distressing
- It is an obsession
You will squander precious time and effort in your pursuit of perfection. If you feel the need to work on any skill, dedicate ample time to improve it. You must strive for brilliance and not perfection.
Many of us take pride in being a perfectionist. All new learners must understand that perfection is self-constraining.
Keep in Mind - Your objective with skill improvement must be to become excellent. Work on improving yourself instead of perfecting it to a point of frustration.
The most fertile minds view challenges as a learning opportunity. Such a mindset prepares you for whatever is to come. If you are beginning anything new or even halfway through it, welcome challenges and don't shy away.
On your way to improving a skill, gather all that you can, and don't be scared to take on challenges.
Keep in Mind - Consider challenges as a reality check of your progress.
Failures Are Stepping Stones
There is practically no growth without failure. Failing at anything is indicative of your efforts, your progress, and highlights what needs to be done differently. If you want to improve a skill, be prepared to face challenges and failures.
The best learner identifies his failure, learns from it, and prepares a better plan of action. Condition yourself for the same. For every time you fail-
- Write down your plan of action
- Detect problematic areas/steps
- Devise a better substitute for the problem point
- Incorporate the substitute and study your new plan of action
- Put it into practice
Keep in Mind - Failure and spaced repetition go hand in hand. If you fail, bounce right back on the learning track.
Find Your Environment
Just like a seed needs the perfect combination environment to thrive, you, as a learner also need to optimize the space in which you learn. Consider your environment as your support system. Therefore, it is a paragon to build yourself the best learning conditions, also backed up with a contingency plan. Consider the following-
- Interact with like-minded people.
- Surround yourself with motivational gear. This can be a desktop wallpaper, a handy motivational speech, or a stimulating poster.
- Prepare the most distraction-free setting
- Discipline yourself with reminders in place
Keep in Mind - Your environment is made up of both physical and mental assets. You must absolutely tweak and adjust it regularly.
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If you pay close attention to how your role models excel at whatever they do, a common practice of willingness to improve comes forth.
Every learner, irrespective of his talents or gifts should commit to self-improvement. Even after you master a skill, its regular upkeep requires persistence, up-gradation, and improvement.
Apart from learning from a professional or a guide, those extra efforts at your end will account for much more. Moreover, it will hint at your eagerness to learn. The best learner is constantly evolving and makes the most of all opportunities.
The key takeaway is perpetual efforts and dedication.
Keep in Mind - You must sincerely work on a skill to improve it. Always be on the lookout to do things better and more interestingly.
Your Unique Learning Method
Every learner is different ranging from his purpose, learning style, environment, stimulation, motivation, and end goals. Therefore everyone's learner has his unique learning method. It is for you to recognize and curate this method for yourself.
It is not productive to blindly follow someone. Your learning methods are focused on your talents, shortcomings, efforts, dedication, difficulties, attention span, and much more.
Hence, the best trick to improve a skill is to proceed at your pace.
Keep in Mind - Your journey to improvement doesn't have to be identical to someone else's.
Attention to Details and Prompt Feedback
Attention to minor details plays a major role in your path to improvement.
It is these details that distinguish between a beginner and an expert. You can do this by being-
- Mindful during practice
- Entirely dedicated and focused
- Aware of gaps in your learning
- Observant of small corrections
A good method to recognize details is by writing down the entire learning process in a diagrammatic manner. This way you can determine those areas that need extra attention. Begin with one thing at a time.
Make sure to supplement your practice with feedback about your performance. Rank yourself and review your daily progress. This way you can perceive what needs to be done differently.
Keep in Mind - You can only focus on details if you are entirely dedicated to the task at hand. Also, active feedback comes from honest introspection.
The last but most vital trick to improve a skill is to enjoy the learning process. Your practice session should be motivating enough to learn. Make learning fun and the least intense thing you do the entire day. This will significantly change your outlook on failures and learning altogether.
This was our list of the 11 most practical and powerful ways to learn a skill. Do incorporate all those tricks to see a major difference in your learning.