Mastering One New Skill Every Year


“Put yourself on a path of passion..” – Chase Jarvis


There’s a number of exciting activities that can challenge and help make our lives a little more of an adventure. Such activities can be (to name but a few) physical, mental, emotional, intellectual, linguistic, creative, business, social, environmental, gastronomical, technical or technological.

According to Malcolm Gladwell and Dr. K. Anders Ericsson of Florida State University, it takes at least 10 000 hours to master any skill. To the contrary, Tim Ferriss, Author of three #1 NYT/WSJ bestsellers, applies the Pareto principle to learning anything, stating that you really only need to know 20% about a subject in order to become proficient at it. So essentially, 20% of deliberate practise will give you 80% of results. Everything else, is extra, often, a waste of time, depending on the outcome you’re after.

By mastering the new skills listed below, I will aim to reach a level which is meaningful to me, rather than aiming to become the very best at that one skill.

The aim is to acquire at least one skill every year for the rest of my life and hope to be doing so by utilising Time Ferriss’ method of deconstructing subject matter to it’s “minimum effective dose” (MED) and applying the principles of his DSSS (Deconstruction, Selection, Sequencing and Stakes) and CFE ( Compression, Frequency, Encoding) framework for learning, to read more about this, go ahead and buy his book: “The 4-hour Chef”.

Below is my list of activities/ challenges/ adventures for the next 30 odd years..

1. Become a qualified skipper / learn how to sail (2014)

2. Become a ballroom dancer

3. Become an archer

4. Become a marks(woman) / clay shooter

5. Become a Chef

6. Become a flower arranger

7. Become a flamenco dancer

8. Become a ballet dancer

9. Learn Mandarin Chinese OR Arabic

10. Project manage the build of my dream house

11. Become a skier

12. Become a carpenter

13. Become a coder

14. Become a writer/ Write a book

15. Produce and Direct a short film

16. Become a mountain climber/ hiker

17. Become a wife

18. Become a mother

19. Learn Kung Fu

20. Learn how to fly / Get a pilot’s licence

21. Become a pianist

22. Build and run a business/ create 5 jobs

23. Become a guitarrist

24. Become a horse rider

25. Become a restauranteur/ bar/ deli owner

26. Become a gardener/ landscaper

27. Become a wine expert

28. Become a cheese expert

29. Prepare and go on an expedition to either north/south pole or the Amazon rainforrest

30. Become a grandmother

31. Do a TED talk / Become a public speaker

32. Become an interior decorater/ designer


Of course this list is non exhaustive and will grow with time, however it’s important to have goals each year and these are mine for now.

Which skills/ activities/ goals would you add to your personal list?

Watch the video below, which is sure to inspire you to start smashing your fears and try something new:

http://embed.ted.com/talks/tim_ferriss_smash_fear_learn_anything.html

Further reading: Learn to learn better

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One thought on “Mastering One New Skill Every Year

  1. AWESOME post Nadine, it’s really great to hear you insight on this, especially the knowledge from the 4 hour chef, which is sitting on my virtual bookshelf, just waiting to be read. I absolutely adore your list, I actually don’t have a list like this, but you have inspired me to start one (i am a big list lover). The one thing I really want to work on next is joining the ‘big sister’ program so that i can spend some quality time with someone way younger than me. I’m fascinated by children, they really inspire me, and would love to spend more time with them, so I thought that would be a GREAT way, while also giving back. Big hugs, and thanks for the inspiration.

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