We humans are very hands-on.
We can think about things and study them all we want, but until we actually do them, we can't surely master them.
The faster you can put in the hours and hours of work at a particular skill, the faster you will be very good at it.
You learn best by doing. There's no way around it.
This is why, one of the most inspirational people in history, Benjamin Franklin, once said,“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
We over-complicate things
I am especially bad about this.
Maybe this will hit home and you'll be able to learn from my mistakes.
When I was still living with my parents, trying to figure out how to start my own business and become successful, I would spend way too much time getting ready.
I'd spend hours customizing my blog, reading about marketing strategies, organizing my desk, and other dumb stuff that didn't actually make money.
Sure, some of these things need to be done to an extent.
For instance, I'm a big believer in reading and learning from others' mistakes, so that you don't repeat them.
But, ultimately knowledge doesn't make you money unless it is applied.
No situation is exactly the same as another.
Close? Maybe. But not the same.
Our situations are different.
Our brains process things differently.
We have to realize that getting the experience for ourselves as quickly as possible is the most important part of mastering a skill.
If you wanted to be a great basketball player, and Michael Jordan gave you advice on how to be great, you wouldn't just instantly be great.
Because you haven't been playing. You haven't been applying what he told you yet.
So what if Michael Jordan personally taught you how to be a great basketball player?
Let's say he did some one-on-one coaching with you for a few weeks.
Then, would you be great?
This is why people with a degree are not masters at their craft right after graduating college. Because they haven't put in enough work yet.
This is why some companies are ditching the college degree requirements and having applicants take skills tests instead.
This is why billionaires like Elon Musk say they don't care about your degree. They care more about your skills, track record and approach.
A great book on this subject…
There are many lessons to learn in that book, but one of the main ones you should pay attention to is the “10,000 hour rule”.
When Gladwell was writing this book, he realized that many of the elite performers in just about any industry put in at least 10,000 hours of work to improve at that one skill.
They didn't read about the skill for 10,000 hours. Although an hour a day or so would help.
They didn't go to classes for 10,000 hours.
What they did was put in the work for 10,000 hours.
The world-class performers Gladwell studied learned from their own mistakes, kept gathering feedback from different approaches and made thousands of tweaks to get to the top of their field.
If you want to almost guarantee you'll be good at something, work at it for 10,000 hours.
Study others, but make sure you're taking action on what you learn.
Make it a habit to work at your craft every day. This is what the elite do.
If you're trying to teach something as a coach, parent, etc., get them involved and have them actually do it themselves between lessons.
The lesson Ben Franklin teaches us a simple but could be one of the most valuable.