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How to learn anything

My personal experience

By Ugochukwu victorPublished about a month ago 3 min read
How to learn anything
Photo by Pascal Habermann on Unsplash

Hello, everyone. Two years ago, my life underwent a profound transformation. My wife Kelsey and I were blessed with the arrival of our daughter Lela. The journey into parenthood is truly remarkable; it's like stepping into a whole new world where your priorities shift overnight. Adapting to this new role comes with its own set of challenges, such as mastering the art of dressing your child – something I found quite daunting at first, as evidenced by some of my initial wardrobe choices for Lela.

Adding to the whirlwind of change, both Kelsey and I work from home as entrepreneurs, managing our respective ventures – Kelsey developing online courses for yoga instructors, while I pursue my career as an author. Juggling parenthood and work responsibilities in the confines of our home made for a hectic lifestyle. A few weeks into this adventure, as sleep deprivation set in around week eight, a common parental fear crept into my mind: the notion that free time was now a thing of the past. The prospect of never having the luxury of time to pursue my passions and indulge my curiosity was disconcerting, as learning new things has always been a source of joy for me.

Driven by my insatiable curiosity, I embarked on a quest for answers, delving into research on the science of learning and skill acquisition. The prevailing notion I encountered was the infamous "10,000-hour rule," popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in his book "Outliers." According to this rule, achieving mastery in any field requires a staggering amount of time – 10,000 hours, to be exact. This revelation left me feeling overwhelmed and defeated, as the prospect of devoting such an immense chunk of time seemed daunting, if not impossible, given my current circumstances.

However, further exploration into the origins of this rule unveiled a more nuanced understanding. The 10,000-hour benchmark emerged from studies of expert-level performance, particularly in highly competitive domains such as sports, music, and chess. Researchers like K. Anders Ericsson found that deliberate practice – focused, purposeful efforts aimed at improving specific skills – was the key to mastery. While elite performers indeed logged around 10,000 hours of practice, this figure didn't necessarily apply to all forms of learning.

Intrigued by this revelation, I delved deeper into the science of skill acquisition, uncovering a more optimistic reality. Contrary to the daunting 10,000-hour rule, studies revealed a more accelerated trajectory of skill development, characterized by a steep initial learning curve followed by gradual refinement. This journey from novice to competence could be achieved in a fraction of the time – as little as 20 hours, according to my research.

Armed with this newfound understanding, I embarked on a personal experiment: mastering the ukulele in just 20 hours. Following a structured approach to learning, which involved deconstructing the skill, leveraging instructional resources, minimizing distractions, and committing to regular practice sessions, I set out on my musical journey.

chord progressions, I encountered moments of frustration and self-doubt. However, by persevering through the initial challenges and embracing the discomfort of being a novice, I gradually witnessed my skills blossom. And with each passing hour of practice, my confidence grew, culminating in a triumphant performance of popular tunes for an appreciative audience.

Through this experience, I discovered that the biggest obstacle to learning isn't intellectual prowess but emotional resilience. The fear of failure and the discomfort of feeling incompetent often deter us from pursuing new endeavors. Yet, by embracing the discomfort and dedicating just 20 hours to deliberate practice, we can unlock our potential and achieve remarkable feats.

So, whether it's learning a new language, honing culinary skills, or exploring artistic pursuits, I urge you to embark on your own 20-hour journey. Embrace the discomfort, persevere through the initial challenges, and revel in the joy of discovery. After all, mastery is not reserved for the few who clock in thousands of hours but for those brave enough to embark on the journey of learning, one hour at a time.

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About the Creator

Ugochukwu victor

Passionate about changing the world and empowering others to create wealth. Firm believer in the power of belief. Let's work together to make a difference and inspire others to believe in their dreams too."

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