Seeking motivation

The story of learning a new skill in practice.

1. Denial

I’m not gonna lie: I didn’t knew how to start this new blogging experience especially since tomorrow I’ve got 2 exams and I am worried. But it’s the different worried. I am worried that I don’t care because it’s been 5 and half years of studying and almost 4 years of actual work and I know my priorities. I know that job may give you more fun and involvement. But then again what is the fun of owning only one limited set of skills? With that in mind I started my research and stumbled across Josh Kaufmans’ TEDx talk called “20 hours”. He explains the fenomenon of our brains and ability to learn quickly by short practice each day.

You need 10 000 hours to become a professional with particular skill.

Somebody somewhere said that you need 10 000 hours to become the best at something. And like with many things in world we play chinese whispers. Each player modifies the message and strips its meaning through time. Thats why from becoming the best somebody said it’s the rule to become good at something. Then average. Then to someone said that it takes 10000 hours to learn a new skill.

With only 20 hours you can be good enough to learn more and self correct but sufficient to make something great.

2. Anger

Why this article needs to be this long? I can enjoy this party or write this post. Why am I loosing this fun for a boring and mundane job? Good thing that I don’t like parties but still I feel like loosing something.

3. Bargaining

But I have so many things everyday to do. I don’t have 45 minutes.

Well, if you are not working 2 full time jobs and a family of 3+ then you will find that time. We all have the same 24 hours, we all need to sleep for at least 5-6. You have at max 18 hours to spend. Full time plus some time for daily commute and you can still count for 8 hours of spare time. It’s all the matter of planning and executing every item on daily list. The transition may not be easy at first and it will be hard to plan and rationalize plans for each day but seeing effects you will be more satisfied. It’s just changing a habit.

That’s only 45 min per day in a month even skipping some days.

4. Acceptance

First of all this a much needed confidence boost. Trying something new always results in either satisfaction or disappointment. If you try then whole experience alone is satisfactory. You tried and achieved something even if it is not pretty or perfect. Perfection and profesionalism is achieveable through repetition and repetition and recursion and repetition… You know how it goes.

5. Remarks

When I started working I managed to learn a lot from my mentors and bosses. I was for instance once told that every meeting or stand-up should leave each participant with short list of action-items: things to do after the meeting is over. To summarize then lets reconsider:

  1. You will never achieve a skill without trying. Remove any and all barriers to practice.
  2. 20 hours rule can be applied to anything as long as it’s just a hobby, a nice to have skill or just as a beginning of a new adventure.
  3. Don’t wait till the opportunity meets you. Make a first move.
  4. Learn enough to know when you’re making a mistake.