fredag 15 augusti 2014

20 skills in a year

If you put in little more than 1 hour a day to improve a skill you would have 400 hours to play with in a year. That is enough to spend 20 hours on 20 different skills. In a single year. This guy learned to play and sing basically all radio top hits and then perform it on a stage in exactly 20 hours.

Imagine that: A year from now you could be make yourself understood in a new language, be fairly proficient ina a physical skill like juggling, walking a tightrope or doing handstands, perhaps play an instrument or two. Acoustic guitar? Piano? Harmonica? You could do some basic origami or be able to analyse the economy from a text-book macroeconomic perspective. I guess that within the 20 hour limit you would learn most there is to know about building a house, including how to plan for electricity, water, ventilation, roofing, insulation etc.

Actually you would easily be able to do all of the above better than most people you know already by next summer. You would still have room for ten more skills within that time period. And we are still only talking about cutting out one hour each day of watching the news for a second time or re-runs of Friends or Seinfeld. How about eating comfortably with Japanese sticks or identifying the 100 most common sushi pieces, or making sushi?

A friend encoureged me to list which 20 skills I would want to learn. Unfortunately I can't even think of 20 things I want to learn. Actually that is one reason I have quit my job; to release my curiosity. Anyway, here are ten skills I am interested in:

Languages (NB that even if you can "get around" after 20 hours of focused learning, I would still want to put in more hours in each language)

Spanish
Italian
Japanese
Dutch
Finnish
Russian


Physical

Handstands
Wave surfing (requires waves)


Other
Coding (robot control, face recognition, understanding beauty, computer trading)
Piano

Added later, after the original post

Oil painting
Understanding the brain architecture
Photography
Composing music

7 kommentarer:

  1. Ett inlägg som får mig att tänka till om vad jag skulle vilja lära mig. Visar att alla har tid samtidigt som det är skrämmande hur många personer som inte är intresserade av att lära sig.

    SvaraRadera
  2. good list. mine would, of course, contain other skills but interesting nonetheless to see where you are going.

    I occurred to me the other day at work that well-educated and (seemingly) intelligent people can still be severly lacking in general education (such as a basic grasp of laws, philosophy and ethics).

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. I read a post the other day about how some "gifted men" get lazy just because learning is easy for them, and thus never bother to get an education.

      Radera
  3. I think I'll start my list tonight. I'm working on handstands already, along with other body-weight stances. I'd recommend throwing some thing similar to StartBodyweight.com or Convict Conditioning into your normal routine. I maxed out the weights I owned, so started to alternate these progressions everyday. Within a week I was able to hold crow stance, L-sit, tucked front lever, and do pistol squats after struggling towards these for months.

    I wish more people would learn to compose. It is just a really neat, civilized and productive skill. I bet James Bond knows how to compose music. It really isn't all that hard, but finding things that sound good is a gift.

    SvaraRadera
  4. Finnish.. my highest challenge (nightmare from time to time) for the last year!

    I'll start right away with my list, yours is very encouraging!

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. Good to hear. Keep me posted on your progress

      Radera