How to learn a skill very fast

How to learn a skill very fast

According to Elizabeth Bowen, ‘The best an individual can do is to concentrate on what he or she can do, in the course of a burning effort to do it better.’ One of the best ways to survive a difficult race, competition, life, swarm of job seekers and many more is to have a skill. It doesn’t stop at having an idea of the skill, but mastering it. Where your legs can’t get to or take you to, your skills will take you there and farther. Frank Sinatra says, ‘People would often remark that I'm pretty lucky. Luck is only important insofar as getting the chance to sell yourself at the right moment. After that, you've got to have talent and know how to use it.

Aside the certificates you acquired from the four walls of classroom, from the university, business school, medical school, the next is your skills. It is your skills people see first, it is your skill that attracts people that are interested in you, before they ask you if you went to school and how they can invest in you. Your skill can be writing, acting, singing and many more. Almost 90% of the world can do this, but how much you can do it is the most important; what exactly differentiates you from others doing the same thing.

Hans Werner Henze says, ‘There are limits to feats of skill, beyond which lie the realms of nonsense. Everything is quite difficult enough as it is, and what is simple actually comes hardest’. Skills are difficult to master, but we will quickly discuss seven ways to easily master a skill and even do so in a very short time;

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#1 Always break down the difficult skills into pieces
Looking at the way a man beautifully designs a house, sings with a beautiful tone, how players skillfully make the ball obey them in the field of play, or how William Shakespeare writes is enough to make one feel intimidated. Though it sounds and looks difficult from distance, but it is a skill they have mastered. How did it start, well, it starts from observation.

‘Yet, had Fleming not possessed immense knowledge and an unremitting gift of observation, he might not have observed the effect of the hyssop mould. Pasteur then says, 'Fortune favors the prepared mind.' - André Maurois

You start learning a skill by observation. You study how it is done, why it is done, what is the usefulness of the skill, how long to learn it, where to learn it, what to learn it, the pieces that make up the skill before you can master it. Learn the theory about the skill; imagine the mathematics behind it, what exactly is the method to do it.

Tear the skill into pieces, learn every bit, and observe every step, mistakes of the teacher. Be very observant and patient. Learn gradually and not in a rush. Then you are ready to learn the skill.


#2 Focus on a particular skill at a time
Next is for you not to be the Jack of all trade, master of none. You don’t need to learn every skill that comes your way, looks beautiful or you are interested in. Pick a particular skill at a time, and learn it. When you are through, you can take on another. Trying to jam a lot of skills together at the same time will waste your time, bore you and discourage you. It can easily make you lose focus in the skills, you become confused when practicing the skills and you can easily forget the steps and stages since you are taking in a lot at the same time.

Life, mastery, is not about how many things you can do, how many skills you have, but by how perfect you are in what you do.

#3 Learn from your mistakes and move on from them
A proverb says, ‘Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.’ A man who makes no mistakes has not learnt anything and has no experience. Other people’s mistakes are what make you an expert, since you have passed through the stage, made same mistakes, and found a way through it. What they battled all night, you get it fixed in few seconds and they call you a genius. But they forgot you already made the same mistake and overcome it.

‘An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field.’ - Niels Bohr. Therefore, it is very important you make mistakes, and more important when you learn from them, and most important, when you move on from them. Just make sure you learn the lesson before you move from it. Else, you will never pass that stage.

During the process of learning the skills, make sure you pay attention to the mistakes, and also make sure you don’t forget the lessons learnt and the solutions. The mistakes will come again through people that will bring the problems to you; you fix it and get paid.

#4 Practise the skill for a short time every day
‘Talent develops in quiet places, character in the full current of human life’. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.  A day should never go without you trying your hands on the new skill you want to master. Make sure you don’t sleep without practicing. Gradually, you will get to where you are going. Remember to have a quiet place, where you can be on your own and learn each day. Where you go through what you learnt that particular day, practice and develop.

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E.C. Zeeman says, ‘Technical skill is mastery of complexity while creativity is mastery of simplicity’ (Ruminate on this and make a point out of it). What others find difficult and you find easy draws the line between you both. From the words of Zeeman, you should be able to  delineate the difference between Skill and Creativity. I leave you to do that.

#5 Always monitor your progress in learning
According to Mary Kay Ash, ‘Those who are blessed with the most talent don't necessarily outperform everyone else. It's the people with follow-through who excel’. While learning the skill, make sure you pay attention to how far you have gone, how fast you are growing, and how much left to get there. Always set a limit to learn for yourself each day. Make sure there is a difference between the time you started and where you are currently.

Always pay attention to the pace of your growth of the new skill, make sure something is changing about you, and make sure the problems you encountered today are different from that of yesterday. Ensure you keep growing in the skill, and make sure you keep getting better.

#6 Test yourself
What is the essence of learning without an exam or a test? Therefore, always challenge yourself in your new skill. Take on difficult tasks; make sure you find solutions to every problem you encountered. Try to discover the problems the masters of the skills encountered or they are still battling with. As well, join in finding solutions to it or learn from how it is being solved.

Let people test you or you test yourself in the new skill. Whether privately or publicly, try to solve problem in that regard, be curious but not overbearing. Don’t let people feel you are proud or arrogant because you learnt something new. Just make it seem as if you want to give it a try, so that if it doesn’t work out, you don’t feel embarrassed, and if it does, you are more respected.


#7 Share the knowledge; Teach other people
The only irreplaceable capital an organization possesses is the knowledge and ability of its people. The productivity of that capital depends on how effectively people share their competence with those who can use it’. - Andrew Carnegie.

What’s the essence of the knowledge you learnt that you can’t pass. Joseph Gilbert says, ‘To teach, is to learn twice’. There is a secret behind teaching other people. It shows you are better than them, and that is why they are learning from you. Also, you tend not to forget what you taught other people.

When you try to share the knowledge of what you learnt with other people, it makes it practical and helps you not to forget it. Therefore, in order to learn fast, teach people around you what you know, you as well add to yourself while adding to them and you water yourself while watering them

We hope you have learnt one thing or the other. Don’t hesitate to share, and as well leave a comment. We appreciate you, and there are many more inciting articles for you to read.

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