Sometimes it amazes me what my kids learn on a daily basis. In our grade-obsessed culture, we oftentimes forget that kids actually have the luxury of learning multiple things, all the time, every day.
Many of us adults are not so lucky.
For those of us who’ve graduated from the student-life into the life of careers, families, errands, responsibilities, we lose focus on our ability to learn new things. We get distracted. We get comfortable in what we already know.
This week, we have the opportunity to change that.
Tim Ferris’ Most Awesome Skill
I am a self-admitted podcast addict. I consume podcasts like candy … or kombucha. (More on that later.)
And one of my favorite podcasts to geek out on is Tim Ferris’.
You’ve no doubt heard of the author of the 4 Hour Workweek, Tool of Titans and others. But what fascinates me are Tim’s ability to learn insane feats of skill in record time.
Within six months of his first tango lesson, he made semifinals of the World Tango Championships and set a world record for most tango spins in a minute. Two months after taking up kickboxing, he won the Chinese national title at 165 lbs.
He even learned to be fluent in Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish in record time.
We don’t need tons of time to learn new things. We just need to bust our comfort zones and focus on something that really jazzes us.
Tim’s approach to high-speed skill acquisition is something called Meta-Learning. If you want to search in greater depth about the concept, check out Tim’s book notes on the subject. But the keys are:
1. Deconstruct the skill – Break the skill down into its most basic parts. Which parts are necessary for hitting the goal you have?
2. Learn enough to self correct – Learn enough to realize when you’re making mistakes.
3. Remove barriers to practice – Turn off your phone, unplug the TV. Put your guitar, piano, language book in the middle of your room, not behind your stack of dirty laundry.
This week, your Scare Your Soul Challenge is to
spend (at least) one-hour learning something new
What is something you’d like to know how to do? What would make you a more well-rounded, interesting person? What would push your comfort zone and help you grow spiritually or intellectually?
In our house, we drink kombucha like it’s going out of style. But they are expensive, we are constantly tossing glass bottles into the recycling bin, and the kombucha is made by a company. Not by me.
My challenge: this week, I commit to learn how to make homemade kombucha in an hour. I’m going to visit my friend Jay, who is an amazing father, entrepreneur, and maven of all things fermented, and get a personal lesson.
What’s one thing YOU want to learn about?
Why don’t you visit an art museum and delve into one artist or painting? Take a priest, rabbi or imam out for a coffee and ask about their faith. Learn how to play a ukulele. Or juggle. Shoot a three pointer or make real hummus. Or go to your first CrossFit or Yoga class.
Or, you could geek out like I did watching the first session of Harvard’s amazing Computer Science class (CS50). It’s amazing. Trust me.
What intrigues you?
What will you learn about this week?
Share anonymously below, and we’ll post to our Facebook Page!