Today, I am going to tell you how, and how quickly, one can acquire a new skill and become quite good at it. We all have the wrong expectations about the time necessary to get a new skill in our arsenal. This podcast episode will debunk this myth…
All the answers are inside this episode
So I had this video that saved on YouTube. I kept the tab open for the last, I don't know, like six days or something. So the video was about how we learn stuff. So let's say you want to learn a new skill. So how much time does it actually take for you to acquire a new skill?
There is a dude who came out with a book recently, like a few years ago. He decided to study elite people from different fields. So he studied chess masters and stuff like that. He wanted to understand how much time was necessary to climb that Mount Everest of learning. They're at the very top of the food chain in their respective fields.
So this guy wanted to find some common trends between all these, like super high performers. And to understand how much time was necessary to get there. So we've already discussed this. You can't get to that level overnight. Right? It's through dedication and through your hard work and your trials and errors and experience. Right? That's how you get there. You can be very good, but there is some serious work involved. This guy came up with a number and it's actually quite a daunting number. And the number is ten thousand hours to get to this level. The equivalent of like five years working full time. That's what you do the whole day. Five years.
So I really want you to understand that these guys you see on television and stuff like that, please understand that these people spent at least 10000 hours doing whatever it is that they're doing. Once you see someone get to the top and into the spotlight, it means that that person has dedicated that many hours and it’s nothing to do with luck.
So this guy came up with a book. And the reason why I was explaining this is because it takes 10000 hours to become Roger Federer like, you know, ATP number one. But people misunderstood and the story became, Ah! Well, it takes 10000 hours to be kind of average at tennis. And then afterwards it became Well, it takes 10000 hours to actually learn anything about tennis. And this is the story that actually went out so that people now think that you need 10000 hours to learn a new skill.
So this guy was basically saying that, in actual fact, he wanted to know exactly how many hours you actually need to, you know, not to become Roger Federer, but to be good enough. Right. How many hours do you need to do that? OK. And so he started doing some research and stuff. And he determined it takes 20 hours, actually 20 hours to learn a new skill!
You're not going to be the number one on the planet and stuff. It's just how do acquire the skill. And you know, get quite good at it. And it takes 20 hours. And there are different steps. So he was explaining the different steps.
The first step is you need to get to a point where you go beyond the shame. The first level is like, dude, you're ashamed. You like, man, I suck. But when you when you start something, you stuck, man. But then you'll get better at it.
And then there is a second level where I found it quite interesting where you get to a point where you are able to auto correct yourself. Tiny little details that can give you a little bit of edge. You might need someone who's a professional at this, but you can get to a point where you you'll be able to do that. Then afterwards you become pretty good at what you want to do.
So why am I telling you this story?
I'm telling you the story because, as you know, I'm teaching basketball to the kids and I really wanted the kids to be able to get better at shooting. I wanted to help them with their jump shot. So I was trying to teach them something, then I realized that there was something a lot simpler that I could have taught them before, you know, the basics.
One of the kids, she just blew my mind. I showed them the shooting mechanic which basically helps you to shoot in rhythm and have balance. And I showed the mechanic to the kids saying, well, you know, this is what you need to do and stuff. So some of the kids, you know, they practice a little bit and they were having fun and laughing and stuff. But there was this one kid who started training. And that was only maybe for like 20 minutes, half an hour, max. Then afterwards, she started repeating the movement. Right. So in the beginning, you need to get into the coordination. Sometimes you don't use these muscles and stuff. She wasn't getting it, but she started doing the repetition for maybe, like, I don't know, just ten minutes and you can't even imagine how insanely good she became after just ten minutes of repeating it. She was able to apply the mechanic that I gave her and she became a shooting machine.
She became insanely good, but not in 20 hours, in a matter of like 30 minutes. Just like repeating the stuff. So it doesn't necessarily take like, you know, 100 hours to start seeing results, because you're learning curve is this. You start, you suck, like, really bad. And if you start focusing on the right things, you will see that your learning curve, the improvement is astronomical.
There might be some stuff that you guys have learned recently where you see that, BOOM you’re making these amazing progresses. And then afterwards, it will start to, like, stagnate at some point. And this is when afterwards you may need someone external to give you all the tiny little details. They might correct a little bit of stuff. So basically, when you're at that stage where you're kind of, you know, you're learning curve slows down, you can use those tiny little things to, you know, kick it again.
So what I want to say here is whatever you're trying to learn, please understand that when you start, you're going to be like, really bad. It's sort of rock bottom. But very quickly, if you focus on the right things and just repeat them, you're going to see massive, massive improvement. So don’t give up. Keep at it, and will come sooner than you think.