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Can skill be improved?


ShadyCB

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Hey guys! I know this may seem like a trivial thing but with practicing hobbies and so on and so forth I think it's a big question and to me I can't see the answer clearly. Can skill he improved or is it not possible to get good at something no matter the effort you've put in?

I remember throwing away things such as game programming, art and even practicing rhythm for music because I kept thinking "I'm never going to get better". I guess its not surprising that I never did get better without practice.

What do you think? I'm on the edge of even trying anything or ignoring it all because I'm afraid of the time I wasted if it doesn't work.

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I believe there are some things you can't achieve per practice. With high probabilty you won't be the next Michael Jordan. There are some peaks of skill where you just need to have a special talent.

To get better then average at most skills should be no problem however. It is just a question of time and fokussed effort. With the most skills the 20/80 rules applies. To learn 80% of a skill you need 20% off the effort. For example playing the guitar. It goes pretty fast to learn basic chores and play some popsongs. But to become really an expert at guitarplaing you will need way more time. Gladly for most purposes it is allright to be just above average. You don't need more for your everyday life and to be sucessfull. 

To be sure you making progress I would recommend some way of measure your progress. Maybe set little goals and write your achievements down. I think it is never wasted time to try something new and to learn something. In the wort case you fail and learn something about yourself.

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Thank you for the reply!

I never thought about it like that. I guess it's not really failure if it doesn't work out. So with that in mind I'm now considering my options with hobbies and how long I should do them for.

It's great to have another perspective on things. :)

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I believe there are some things you can't achieve per practice. With high probabilty you won't be the next Michael Jordan. There are some peaks of skill where you just need to have a special talent.

To get better then average at most skills should be no problem however. It is just a question of time and fokussed effort. With the most skills the 20/80 rules applies. To learn 80% of a skill you need 20% off the effort. For example playing the guitar. It goes pretty fast to learn basic chores and play some popsongs. But to become really an expert at guitarplaing you will need way more time. Gladly for most purposes it is allright to be just above average. You don't need more for your everyday life and to be sucessfull. 

To be sure you making progress I would recommend some way of measure your progress. Maybe set little goals and write your achievements down. I think it is never wasted time to try something new and to learn something. In the wort case you fail and learn something about yourself.

I don't quite agree with what you're saying here, though I mean no disrespect ofcourse :) 

I myself have started A LOT of new things, but I always quit after some point. Maybe when it got too difficult, or when it just seemed too impossible to do. 

Now that kind of changed. I learned that consistency is the key to succes in any area you want to improve. If you want to improve at playing basketball then start by practising a couple times a week, preferably every day, for a good amount of time. Keep this up, week in, week out and you will definitely improve. You can improve your skill by practicing, though you HAVE to be consistent. If you want to become good at programming, you will have to make it a habit to work on that, preferably, every single day. At first it might be difficult, but if you keep it up, you will make it into a habit. A part of your daily routine. And then it becomes quite easy to do. You have to realize that your brain doesn't want you out of your comfort-zone. It tries to drag you back. And if you try something new, your brain has to create neural pathways. See it as a muscle. It HAS to be trained to become stronger. It will be hard, it will be difficult, but if you keep it up it will pay off. 

The thing that a lot of people don't see is that Michael Jordan, probably, didn't just HAVE the skills he has now when he was born. He might've shown talent but he probably practiced and practiced every single day. And he probably still does today. Same goes for Ed Sheeran. If you look at some of his interviews he'll say he couldn't sing at first, not at all. He sounded horibble. But he kept practicing every single day. And he got better. Little by little, day by day, he got better. Till the point where he is now.. A superstar.

If you want something, really want something, go for it! You don't need to become the next Michael Jordan or the next Ed Sheeran. Become the next YOU

What I do agree with though. Is that it's a really good idea to measure your progress somehow. For instance, for running I use Nike+. That way I can look back and see the improvements I've made over the past couple of months. It motivates me to keep going. 

I do want to add that it's best not to want too many things at once. If you want to learn to play the guitar, learn how to cook, learn how to get better at basketball, set up your own business, learn how to run a marathon or whatever. Do them one at a time. Focus on one thing, and make that into a habit. If you've arrive at the point where it's quite easy to do the thing you need to do, like practicing playing guitar, then try learning another habit. One thing at a time. And you WILL be succesful.

I highly recommend reading The Slight Edge. Cam recommends it as well (that's why I started reading it). It really helps you with becoming succesful in any area of your life.

Sorry for the long reply. I just didn't want to leave any thing out. 

Stay strong, stay motivated. 

- Mark 

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Don't worry I am always open for discussion but I agree with you here ;). Didn't made it clear that a Micheal Jordan or a Tiger woods played and trained a lot. THeir talent just made it so that they are a little better then all these other pro's wich train the same amount but couldn't be so great. Training isn't everything but talent without consistent training is nothing. Same goes for IQ btw. An extremely high IQ doesn't make you sucessfull( more likely depressiv) but a high above average IQ combined with persistance and hard work is creating the best and smartest scientists, programmers etc..

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Yup, I believe consistency is everything. If you have passion for whatever you do in the first place it'll be much easier to maintain that consistency.

Many superstars you see nowadays, have put in years of dedication behind the scenes. The difference between them and the amateurs are that they kept on going when things seemed impossible or hard.

The same goes for business and your personal life too. Consistent action in the right direction = success. Take for instance Stephen King...he was rejected hundred of times by publishers before someone actually noticed his work.

If he gave up at the beginning, then you wouldn't see his work.

I would've gave up months ago with my business with the amount of mistake and failure I've had, but I kept on going. Now things are starting to look up and im discovering things I never knew about my self.

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I read that you can start practising a sport at any age, but if you start later you would probably never be as good as professional athletes, and you have to accept it. The same goes for musicians playing classical music. If you hadn't started practising as a child, you have little possibility of reaching the levels e.g of the winners of Chopin competition. We have to be realistic about our goals, or there is a huge disappointment in store for us. It is similar with learning foreign languages: you can learn at any age, but if you begin as a child, you would probably learn to speak without your native accent. Not so if you begin as an adult. 

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