It’s been more than three years that one of my college friends is complaining about not able to learn a language that he wanted since he was in college. His frequent complaint made me think does any skill takes such a prolong time to acquire? The answer is NO.
Josh Kaufman one of the best selling authors put himself on an intensive research and came to a conclusion that it takes only 20 hours to actually learn something new and be good at it. “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever,” Mahatma Gandhi said once.
Do you want to learn a new language? Give it 20 hours. Do you want to be a good speaker? Give it 20 hours. Do you want to learn how to play the guitar? Give it just first 20 hours and you are all set to play it at a stage crowded with thousands of people.
While speaking at Ted Talk, Josh Kaufman said there are four steps to actually follow in order to learn anything in 20 hours. Let’s dive into those four steps.
Deconstruct the skills
Figure out what you want to learn. Then find out those skills that the new thing that you want to learn needs in order to be good at it. For instance, if you want to learn a language. There are few skills that a language is dependent on. Such as its alphabets, pronunciation, writing and grammar are the few necessary skills that a person needs to learn in order to learn a new language.
Work on most necessary skills and you are all done. “if you practice the most important things first, you’ll be able to improve your performance in the least amount of time possible,” says Josh Kaufman.
Overcome practice barriers
You face tremendous barriers when it comes to acquiring a new skill. The barriers can be psychological and physical barriers. When you think that they can not learn anything new and you are in a dilemma whether they should learn anything new or not it is called psychological barriers.
The psychological barriers can be removed by answering ‘why’ a new skill is required to learn for you. For instance, you want to learn a new language because you want to speak more than one language. You want to learn a new language because your profession required to do better in your profession. Or you want to be an interpreter.
The physical barriers are distractions from social media and television. Remove all these barriers and focus on the skills that you want to learn to be good at new things.
Learn to correct yourself
While learning anything new it is requisite to know whether you are learning the new thing correct or not. In order to do this, you have to research on the new thing that you are learning. Research enough to be self-aware if you are doing wrong so that you can make yourself correct along with the journey of learning the new thing soon.
However, don’t put yourself into self-correct research a lot. Just research required amount and focus on learning. “don’t use self-correct learning as a way to procrastinate in practice,” said Josh Kaufman. He further added that “What you want to do is learn just enough that you can actually practice and self-correct or self-edit as you practice.”
Practice at least 20 hours
It is true and proven that to be good at anything it takes only 20 hours. However, many fail to even devote enough time to give that 20 hours with full of inspiration and dedication. As a natural tendency, people get frustrated after trying 2-3 days and give up.
You have to give that 20 hours seriously. 20 hours not at a stretch but little bit every day. Give only 40-45 minutes every day with concentration and dedication and at the end of a month, you are with a new skill to share with your family friends and the world. “Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do,” said Oprah Winfrey once.
Now, it is really easy. Decide what you want to learn and follow above four steps and acquire a new skill at the end of 30 days. “There are many things that seem impossible only so long as one does not attempt them.” André Gide, Autumn Leaves said once.