There are many sad things in the world and you don’t have to be part of them. I cannot play the violin, and to me that’s very sad, but to stop there is even more sad. I can learn to play the violin. Yes I can…….only if am willing to pay the price. The world is filled with people who are willing to learn new skills, are you one of them? Do you have the spirit and energy, commitment to take on one? Learning a new skill has been a well cultivated habit of mine, living with the mind of a child, who looks at new things with a different eye.
You would ask yourself, who taught your child how to operate your mobile phone? We are born with the desire to learn, to conquer great obstacles and to venture new grounds, but some of us if not most, lose that desire along the way. Sometimes back I took on the task of learning how to play the guitar, I did well, but not before I was distracted again. Today, am sure the cords I played with a lot of ease have vanished from my brain.
Mastering new skills is not optional in today’s world be it in business or whatever. In a fast-moving, competitive world, being able to learn new skills is one of the keys to success. It’s not enough to be smart — you need to always be getting smarter. We need to constantly look for opportunities to stretch ourselves in ways that may not always feel comfortable at first. Continual improvement is necessary to get ahead.
When working on a new skill or competency, you need to ask yourself two things. First, is your goal attainable? There are certain limits to what you can learn….for example, you may want to be a brain surgeon, but not have the eye-hand coordination required. Second, how much time and energy can you give to the project? It’s not like going to the pharmacy and getting a painkiller, Self-improvement is hard work. Many people implicitly believe that if you have to work hard at something, it means you lack ability. This is not true. Instead, recognize that learning a new skill takes extreme commitment. Unless your goal is attainable and you’re prepared to work hard, you won’t get very far, just like me.
Some learn best by looking at graphics or reading. Others would rather watch demonstrations or listen to things being explained. Still others need a “hands-on” experience. You can figure out your ideal learning style by looking back. Reflect on some of your past learning experiences, and make a list of good ones and another list of bad ones. What did the good, effective experiences have in common? How about the bad ones? Identifying common strands can help you determine the learning environment that works best for you.
Start small. Self-improvement can feel overwhelming. You can’t take on everything. If you do, you’ll never do it. Choose one or two skills to focus on at a time, and break that skill down into manageable goals. For example, if you’re trying to become more assertive, you might focus on speaking up more often in meetings by pushing yourself to talk within the first five minutes.
Be patient. Too often, we approach a new skill with the attitude that we should nail it right out of the gate. The reality is that it takes much longer. It’s not going to happen overnight. It usually takes six months or more to develop a new skill. And it may take longer for others to see and appreciate it. People around you will only notice 10% of every 100% change you make.
I have used the web for much of my learning, I use youtube and google a lot. And most of the time, it’s continuous study and practice. You don’t get perfect at the first try, so keep trying. The most important is that you should seek the advice of others, who have acquired the same skill you are trying to acquire. Don’t learn in a vacuum.