Monday, March 23, 2015
Six Steps for Learning New Passions
First, watch the passionate and become them... They have put in the time and also their passion can be contagious. If you want to to truly excel at the new activity you need their passion so spend time with them. My advice: Don't try to learn from those that are not excited about what they teach.
Second , break it down into little steps and goals that build into the excellence you seek. You can't come out of the gate playing Beethoven's 5th, first you must play Chopsticks. The small simple steps create the feeling of progress and lessen the overwhelming nature of your end goal.
Third, if you have found the passion, built the little steps and goals into your learning plan then you are ready to apply what Malcom Gladwell calls the "10,000 Hour Rule" in his book Outliers. But... if you did not catch the passion from the passionate then this part can be trying if not insurmountable. Mr Gladwell shares that to truly excel at an item of interest you will need to practice the task for 10,000 hours. Direct application of the learning is key. This is my struggle as there is never quite enough hours in the day for all the application practice that needs to happen.
Fourth, your learning plan needs the element of time. You have to devote and schedule the time so that it becomes part of your daily ritual. If not, the urgent distractions will always displace your new passion especially as you find yourself in the valley of frustration mentioned in this blog on behavior change through master planning. The learning plan and the master plan are quite similar and the points mentioned there transfer nicely.
Fifth, you have to keep the passionate surrounding you as coaches and mentors. you will face challenges and road blocks and you will need a fresh shot of their channeled enthusiasm and knowledge if you want to get unstuck. Besides most journeys are best with friends.
The sixth item that has helped me to learn new things is simple repetition. I create reminder cards and stickers and put them where I see them everyday. I also use learning aid to keep me fresh on task that I don't do as often. The act of creating this learning aids that shoes the basic steps and details required adds as much value as seeing them repeatedly posted around your world.
In closing I want to again point to the importance of passion in learning. My believe is that education without passion is fake and of limited value.
My hope is that these thoughts help you as you prepare to follow your passion and that you enjoy the journey it provides!