We live in the information age. Yes, I know, that’s not news breaking. We’ve been living in the information age for some time. We have all the knowledge we need at the tip of our finger.
Who won the French Open last year? Google knows. How gallons of water fit into a 20 square foot pool? Ask Siri.
For those seeking to learn a trade/skill or start a new venture, it has never been easier. But it has also never been harder.
Why? Because of too much information.
We sign up for a course. Halfway through it, we sign up for another course, and ditch the first one. Of course, we “mean” to finish it, but never do. I’m guilty of not completing quite a few Coursera courses. It’s like flipping through all the TV channels. We might know a little bit about each show, but we wouldn’t be able to enter into an in-depth discussion about any of them because of the lack of depth of knowledge.
Which is why mastery is key. Peter Voogd talks about this in his book 6 Months to 6 Figures. It’s important to master one thing and then move on and master the next.
Knowing something is not enough. You need to put that knowledge into action and then repeat. Once you’ve mastered it, tackle the next skill/trade. It’s a constant process of learning, mastering, and adding to your tool belt.
How do you go about mastering? Here are a few steps recommended by Peter Voogd
1. Start SMALL Choose 1 or 2 skills. Keep your focus narrow for maximum impact
2. Stop and reflect along the way Ask yourself: Am I making progress? Am I practicing the skill? Am I doing it right?
3. Ask feedback from others. Have they observed your progress? Sometimes we are either too kind or too hard on ourselves and we need external feedback.
4. Teach it to others Once you’ve acquired a certain level of mastery, start teaching others. It will force you to approach the task/skill/material in a different way and help you learn even more.
5. Be patient! There is no such thing as overnight success. All seemingly overnight successes are the result of consistent, smart and dedicated work. As you learn, what seems like a linear process becomes exponential as time goes on.
What are you trying to master? Apply these steps and see how they help you. This way, in a year from now, instead of saying “I tried 6 new things” you can say “I’ve mastered 2”. And hopefully, those two things you mastered have started paying you dividends.