This exercise helps you master a new skill in just 100 hours. You’ll learn how to use 100 hours efficiently to optimize your time so you improve at a much quicker rate. It’s for anyone who has an adventurous spirit, likes to learn or has ambitious goals and big dreams.
- People who want to be able to master a new skill.
- People who want to learn a new skill in order to accomplish a goal or dream.
- People interested in personal growth and development.
To have skill is to perform a particular activity very well, with accuracy, speed and a low number of errors. Unfortunately, you cannot completely master any new skill in 100 hours (or ever, as there is rarely an upper limit to performance). You can however achieve spectacular improvements with 100 hours of practice, and the experience may even redefine you as a person.
Skills define who we are, and in many cases how well we do in life. Having more skills makes it easier to meet and connect with people, and being good at something gives you a sense of pride and well-being. Developing skills also makes you more complex and interesting.
I’ve been researching and applying skill development research for the last 5 years. This year my goal has been to improve as much as possible at 10 different skills for 100 hours each (some of the skills I’ve been working on lately: piano, Portuguese, drawing, cooking, kizomba, chess, Thai massage, filmmaking, yoga, ultimate frisbee, asking good questions). And each time I’ve finished 100 hours of practicing a skill, I’ve become a noticeably changed person, thinking about the world in a whole new way.
Learning any skill is a bit like learning a new language. After you improve your drawing skills, you look at the world and think about how you would draw it, the shadows objects are casting, basic shapes and how things are overlapping. After improving your cooking skills, you have a different relationship with food, and when you are walking through a market you are constantly thinking of tastes and how they could fit together in a dish 먹튀검증. Through dancing you learn a whole new way of communicating and connecting with the use of your body.
The key to fast improvement is to focus on performing every action as precisely as possible, but to also be aware of mistakes you are making, so that you can find ways to resolve them. When you consistently apply these principles for many hours of practice, your performance will steadily grow to impressive levels.
When learning a new skill these are the key principles you need to apply:
Quality of your attention
Be present when you learn any skill, and pay attention to what you are doing right now. Always pay full attention to the details that affect your performance.
For example, if you are learning a physical skill, perform every movement as well as you can. Your body doesn’t know what you are trying to teach it. By moving in the correct way, your body will learn the best movement patterns faster. In the beginning, practice slower, but with high accuracy. When you start to perform the move well, increase the speed. But always keep the quality of movement, otherwise you will only improve at performing a move in a sub-optimal way.
Keep practicing. Don’t just practice until you get it right once, practice until you can’t get it wrong. Not until then have you fully learned the skill. If you are throwing a frisbee, see if you are able to do 5, 10 or 20 good passes in a row. Then try to perform the pass under more difficult conditions (under pressure from an opponent, in windy conditions, or from a lower/higher release point).
To fully devote your attention to learning a new skill requires a lot of energy. The more energy you have at your disposal, the more potential practice time you have. Manage your physical and mental fitness and practice when your body and mind are rested. Only then are you able to focus 100 percent, and perform at the edge of your current abilities.
Take care to sleep well, eat nutritious food, stay hydrated, stay in shape and avoid situations that steal your energy. Plan your practice around the time of the day when you have the most energy.
Set up the environment to make it as easy as possible to practice. Prepare any equipment you need in advance and place it where you will easily see it. Limit distractions and barriers to practice. Live close to where you practice. Your goal is to make it as easy as possible to practice, to maximize the time you spend practicing and stretching your abilities, rather than spending your energy thinking about where, when and if you should practice.
Find a way to measure your practice. I keep this part simple. Whenever I put in an hour of quality practice, I give myself a cross (aiming to get to 100). If you didn’t practice with good quality attention, give yourself less (e.g. half a cross). If the quality was very low, don’t give yourself any crosses, and evaluate what you can do to improve your next practice. Make it a habit to always practice with high quality attention.
After you have made it a habit to practice with quality, focus on consistency. Practice every day. By continually making small improvements over a long period, you will eventually get a lot better.
If this is a skill that matters to you, spend your most rested hours every day on it. Then build the other activities in your life around it.
Learn to learn
Knowing how to actively develop and grow a skill is a skill in itself. If you learn the process of becoming good at anything, you can apply it to any skill. The more time you invest in learning, the better you become at it. Accelerated learning experts train their learning muscles all the time. They therefore progress faster than most people, and achieve a more sophisticated level of mastery in a shorter time frame.
Find a hero
Identify expert performers at the skill you want to learn. Figure out what makes them good. Design your practice around learning how to do that yourself.
Get a coach, be a coach!
All world-class performers have coaches to help improve their game. Whatever it is you do, it is always possible to get better. A great coach will help you plan your practice, give feedback on how you are doing and push you to perform at the edge of your current abilities.
At the same time, be your own coach. Get creative in how you challenge yourself and plan practice to stretch your current abilities.
Exercise: Redefine yourself - The 100 Hour Challenge
If you want to live the life you want, you need to develop the skills that let you do so, one skill at a time.
Often the most valuable skills are those that are difficult to learn. Because they are difficult to learn, fewer are willing to put in the effort to develop them. Invest in yourself, by putting in the work to get good at the skills that matter for you.
I cannot think of any skill that I’m proud of, that I didn’t put a lot of effort into. You can only become exceptional at something by putting in a lot of effort. Ordinary is not sexy. Be exceptional!
If you want any exercise in life to be transformational, you need to put considerable effort into it and challenge yourself in a way which makes you proud of the outcome. This goes for all the exercises in this book.
My challenge for you is simple, but not easy. Choose a skill that you would most like to improve, and put in 100 hours of quality practice, applying the principles of learning mentioned above. By taking action, you can redefine yourself and the direction your life is going, one skill at a time.