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Apr 29, 2019 12:47:41

How long will it take?

by @brandonwilson PATRON | 344 words | 260πŸ”₯ | 260πŸ’Œ

Brandon Wilson

Current day streak: 260πŸ”₯
Total posts: 260πŸ’Œ
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When you start learning something new, one of the natural questions to ask is how long will it take to get good?

The answer is that it is entirely up to you. Perhaps start by asking a different question.

β€œI don’t ask how long will it take to get good at something. I ask how long do I want it to take.” β€”Tony Robbins

When I graduated college and started teaching junior high students, I had limited experience speaking in front of groups. In fact, I was terrible at public speaking. But I had to get really good really fast as a teacher. I learned the hard way what happens when you lose control of thirty pubescent teenagers. Let's call it on-the-job training.

In addition to learning by doing, I watched veteran teachers. I asked lots of questions. I learned by trial and error. I learned fast because I had to and because I put in the hours everyday consistently. 

Years ago I watched an informercial where the artist Esteban was offering an acoustic guitar and video lessons. I got sucked in and bought the guitar. I had no prior musical experience except a few organ lessons when I was in grade school. My plan was to practice once or twice a week. It didn't last long. I discovered I do not have a natural ability to play guitar. My fingers constantly hurt because of how hard I had to press the strings. I never practiced for a long enough time to develop calluses. My hands and fingers are built for typing on a keyboard not playing a guitar. I didn't want it bad enough. And practicing at the rate of once or twice a week meant it would take a VERY long time to get good at playing the guitar. 

If you want to learn a new skill, don't ask how long it will take to get good. Ask how long you want it to take. Then make a plan to show up and put in the hours consistently to make it happen. 


  • 1

    @brandonwilson - This too us a brain hack Brandon.
    It's the mind that makes accurate predictions of how long it will take.
    Nice one.

    Keni avatar Keni | Apr 29, 2019 23:55:58
    • 1

      @keni Thank you! Tony Robbins likes to emphasize that the quality of your questions determines your outcome. Sometimes it just takes asking a different question to reframe the mind.

      Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Apr 30, 2019 06:22:42
  • 1

    @brandonwilson πŸ‘ This is my plan for mastering the unicycle this summer. Just waiting for a few warm, dry days in a row. Up until now I haven't been serious enough about it, but the time for excuses is over.

    Jeff Riddall avatar Jeff Riddall | Apr 29, 2019 15:51:16
    • 1

      @Rawhead That's awesome. I can barely turn a corner on a bicycle, so I think a unicycle is out of the question for me. How does one learn to ride a unicycle?

      Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Apr 29, 2019 12:52:34
    • 1

      @brandonwilson Far as I can tell, one gets upright and pedals as fast as one damn well can until one spectacularly crashes. Rinse
      .. repeat. I'll keep ya posted.

      Jeff Riddall avatar Jeff Riddall | Apr 29, 2019 18:17:46
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