Five Tips for Getting Better Faster

August 17, 2015 - Mac Lake - Leadership, Personal Growth
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Do you ever find yourself wanting to get better at a skill, ability or talent, but you can’t seem to make any progress?

You don’t have to struggle your way blindly through mediocrity there are actually things you can do to get better faster. Here are five tips that might help.

Tip #1. Exposure -Get exposure to experts

I just finished reading Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon. (Check out his TED Talk)   To refine a skill he recommends you find an expert and exhaust yourself studying that one person. Hey says, “If you try to devour the history of your discipline all at once you’ll choke. Instead, chew on one thinker- writer, artist, activist, role model – you really love. Study everything there is to know about that thinker. Then find three people that thinker loved, and find out everything about them.”

Tip #2. Goal Set: Write two to five goals

Establishing a few goals will cause your mind to focus on progress. Think through why you want to learn this skill? What would it look like if you perfected it? How would it benefit you and those you lead? Picture what good performance looks like and then set a few goals you can strive toward. When you write down goals it makes you more accountable especially if you make the goals public by sharing them with a friend or small group.

Tip #3 Research: Allow your curiosity to do further research

Go to Google and Youtube and start searching anything and everything about your topic. When you do this you will discover your topic can be broken into categories. As you do more research you will discover subcategories. Suddenly the topic becomes so big you feel like you will never conquer it. But discovering so many subcategories gives you an endless supply of learning. The more you research the richer the insights you can gain.

Tip #4 Practice: Carve out time to practice

If you only watch others and do research you’ll never get better. You have to put into practice what you’re learning. Don’t wait until your “good” because you’ll never start. Remember some of the best lessons you will learn will be from your failure.

Practice is important but how you practice is even more important. In “So Good They Can’t Ignore You,” author Cal Newport says that “what makes ridiculously successful people so successful is they’re experts at practicing — they can push themselves to the exact limit of their skillset and thus expand their abilities day after day. If you’re not expanding yourself in such a fashion, you’ll never be ridiculously successful.”

Check out this TED Talk The First 20 Hours – How to learn anything.

Tip #5 Evaluate- Have others give you feedback

If you only depend on self-evaluation you will only have your perspective to view your development. Let others know you’re trying to grow in a particular area and ask for their feedback and perspective. Their insights will help you see things you can’t see on your own and will help you get better faster.

What are some other tips you’d recommend for getting better faster?

Watch my Periscope on this topic and discover the skill I’ve been working on lately. You’re gonna laugh. CLICK HERE

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Mac Lake

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