Watch the video if you want to learn how to go from not knowing anything at all about a skill to being rather good at it in 20 hours. Josh Kaufman explains the findings of his 2 year research on the subject of learning a new skill….


Key points :

1) Contrary to popular belief, it does not take 10000 hours to learn and be good at a new skill, it takes round about 20 hours. This works out to 40 minutes everyday, for a month. This figure will  vary from person to person, but it is around this order of magnitude!

2) There is a system to learn effectively :

  • Step 1 : Be CLEAR about what you want to achieve at the end of it. When you imagine that you have learnt the skill, what does it look like? what needs to happen before you can say you have mastered the skill? what can you now do?
  • Step 2 : Break the objective down into smaller sub skills. He gives an example of learning how to play golf. It takes different skills to drive and to putt. Recognize the differences, practice them in sub sets, and pick the subskill that is most impactful for results and start with that first.
  • Step 3: Find resources to help you. Books, CDs, a coach, mentors….. Do your research. Pick 3-5 resources and identify the patterns that are similar to identify what is important. Then self correct!
  • Step 4: Removing barriers to practice. Remember set yourself up to win. If this skill is really that important, it deserves your focus and time. Honour your practice time.
  • Step 5 : Precommit to giving the 20 hours of focused practise time. This helps you evaluate if this skill is really important to you. This also helps you get over the barrier of frustration in skill acquisition.

3) This is not rocket science, it is something that we have been doing in all kinds of skill acquisition, not many of us have done it in such a deliberate strategic way.

Personal development

To live a good life……

one must keep learning in order to connect the dots.

Creative genius is not the accumulation of knowledge; it is the ability to see patterns in the universe, to detect hidden links between what is and what could be –  Richard Louv, author of “The Nature Principle”

connect the dots to create the beauty only you were meant to

connect the dots to create the beauty only you were meant to

I remember hearing this phrase of connecting the dots in Steve Job’s 2005 Stanford Commencement speech, where he spoke about how his decision to drop out of college eventually led to the typography that we take for granted in personal computers today. He later said that is was impossible to connect the dots looking forwards from his college days but it was clear looking backwards from today. Isn’t everything obvious in hindsight, but frustrating at the point of decision?

Have you heard of or felt moments when everything seems to be working in your favour? When everything is falling into pace? When your life is making sense now? So you are connecting the dots.

Connection will not happen if there were no dots to connect in the first place. But what results in the ‘correct’ dots ? If we cannot possibly make the connections looking forwards, then how could we ensure that we are creating the right dots?

I guess the answer is to take chances and follow your bliss. Allow change to happen and trust that it is happening for a reason. By all means do something, pursue what you want but don’t assume that by doing that you will get the outcome you want, the way you want it. Because we don’t know what could possibly be. Take a deep breath, move forwards and trust.

We all want to stand for something, to live a full life that has impacted not only our friends and family but also communities at large. In order to leave a legacy we need to allow for dots to emerge and trust that a greater knowing force will lead the way. Keep learning, keep growing, keep taking action towards your bliss, and I promise we will be better people than when we started off.

Art Linkletter summarised my thoughts perfectly in the closing of his speech at the Seminar of The Century back in 2007. He said:

I never want to be what I want to be, because there is always something out there yet for me. I get a kick out of living in the here and now but I never want to feel I know the best way how because there is always one hill higher, with a better view. Something waiting to be learned, I never knew. So til my days are over, never fully fill my cup, let me go on growing up. Don’t get old, grow old. Go back to college and take courses, try new things, look and see what your passion can do which has meaning for you for the rest of your life. – Art Linkletter

Art Linkletter- winner of an Emmy for a Lifetime Achievement Award

Art Linkletter- receiver of the Emmy for lifetime achievement award and receiver of the National Humanitarian Award