Learning New Skills
Learning new skills is one of the most rewarding, enjoyable activities we can engage in. The confidence boost that comes with becoming competent at something you had zero ability in, the stimulation that comes from seeing the nuances of a field you never properly observed, and the mental benefits that surely must come from constantly rewiring our brain through the adoption of new ways of thinking are all reasons why we should value learning skills so highly.
There’s probably an argument to be made for slowly picking up a new skill over time, but in my experience, it’s often better to go all-in, especially when starting out with a new endeavour.
When I wanted to learn how to communicate through videos, spending 10 hours a day for a few weeks pumping out YouTube videos yielded great results. When wanting to understand Product Design, spending hours a day mocking up wireframes for side projects got me a good way there. Every now and then I go into manic phases to adopt a new skill, it’s something I really love.
My latest phase is yoga. I’ve long been concerned about my mobility, and have made half-hearted attempts to improve it over the years, never with much success.
A couple of weeks ago I bit the bullet and started paying an eye-watering amount of cash to take part in hot yoga every morning. Waking up, going to a bouche studio & getting a sweat on while you learn something new has got to be one of the best ways to start your day.
I feel subtle, healthy, and my gym lifts have been going through the roof. The one thing I struggle with in yoga, is how to make measurable progress. It’s all when and good becoming ‘one with your body’ and ‘letting go of the day’ but one of the key reasons for my practice is to supercharge my flexibility.
Fortunately, I’ve been in this position before when picking up a new skill. Even more fortunately, I got through it. Even, even more fortunately I wrote down my process at the time.
This is the process I applied to learn how to draw, and I’ve taken the exact steps and applied it to my yoga practice. I’ve set a narrow goal, picked a master, broken down the skill, and set up a feedback loop.