EPISODE 334: Learn New Skills, Overcome Fears, Become a Hero
After your first yoga class, your hamstrings will hurt like hell. After your first day snowboarding, your wrists will ache and your bum will be bruised. After your first week struggling to play Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, your fingertips will be raw.
Welcome to the awkward and irritating world of new skill acquisition. The journey from grossly incompetent to somewhat capable is simultaneously the most challenging and most rewarding part of learning.
In the yoga studio, I see it every day. People poke their head in the door, take stock of the room, the instructor, the students, and proceed home to watch Netflix and eat Häagen-Dazs because it’s easier than confronting the learning curve that awaits them. The benefit of avoidance is obvious—Netflix won’t cause you pain, won’t embarrass you, and won’t ask anything more of you—but the losses are catastrophic. Every day you spend stagnant, consuming rather than creating, it eats away at your vibrant spirit until there’s nothing left.
On this week’s podcast, you’ll meet author Josh Kaufman, who is obsessed with that initial learning phase. He has figured out how to break through the barriers of inertia and uncover what someone really wants.
What You’ll Learn:
- Why learning is so important to the human condition
- The importance of pre-commitment to a phase of learning
- Why the 10,000-hour rule applies mostly to elite athletes and musicians
- Why great teachers are so difficult to find—and rarely teach
- How to leverage published material to supplement great teaching
ABOUT OUR GUEST
Josh Kaufman is the author of three bestselling books: The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business, The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything… Fast!, and How to Fight a Hydra: Face Your Fears, Pursue Your Ambitions, and Become the Hero You Are Destined to Be.
His TEDx talk on “The First 20 Hours” has been viewed more than 12 million times, putting it in the top 10 most-viewed TEDx videos and top 100 most-viewed TED Talks published to date.
Josh’s research has been featured by the New York Times, BBC News, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Fortune, Forbes, Time, BusinessWeek, Wired, and dozens of other publications. Josh has been a featured speaker at the Aspen Ideas Festival, World Domination Summit, Pioneer Nation, MicroConf, Bacon Biz, Stanford University, Google, and IBM.
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