Month: January 2018

The Learning Process: from Novice to Master


The Learning Process: from Novice to Master

If you want to get great at anything there are a few hacks (see my ultimate hack at the bottom), but there is no way around putting some time in. If you follow the below path, you may be able to shave off some time and achieve a higher level of mastery when all done. So you have to put in your time, but doing it in the right way makes all the difference.

Step1: Find your life’s task: What are you good at and what do you enjoy:

This can be the hardest part of the process, but it needn’t be. Two good ways to start this: 1) Make an x-y grid of all the things you’re good at and all the things you enjoy… where do they intersect  2) Ask others… they will tell you what you are uniquely talented at

Step 2: Find a mentor/apprenticeship:

This is the single greatest hack… finding a mentor who has already been down your chosen road can save you years of needless toil and frustration (unlearning the wrong thing can take more time and be more frustrating than trying to learn it the right way to begin with), but it does depend on finding the right mentor

Step 3: Clean slate: Allow yourself to be molded

Step 4: Lay the foundation/learn the fundamentals

Step 5: Practice:

Here comes the famous 10,000 hour rule…10,000 hours is only a guesstimate, but it does take time and practice if you really want

Step 6: Internalize: Unconscious processing

Somewhere during this 10,000 hours things will become natural and no longer forced… breakthrough!

Step 7: Growth

Step 8: Plateaus and dealing with pressure:

It’s not all roses and isn’t easy, otherwise everybody would do it

Step 9: Experiment:

Push the boundaries. This step is critical… just rehashing the same things everyone else has done is not the goal… we are looking for the blue ocean and to breaking new ground. Don’t even let your mentor hold you back here

Step 10: Form opinion:

Start to find your own path

If you do this, you will be one of the few… it is too much work for most people and they will give up early on. Still too much for you? Don’t have 10,000 hours? A shortcut possibility is to learn say 1000 hours at two separate disciplines and marry them together (first heard this idea from Peter Thiel) where nobody has done so previously. Now no one knows more than you at this intersection. This works amazingly well if you can find demand at this intersection, but predicting demand is your challenge… maybe the world just doesn’t know it needs this yet!

Some great books that I borrowed liberally from for this:

Mastery by Robert Greene

The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin