The Definitive Guide for Learning A New Skill


Welcome to another conversation at the library. I appreciate your time. Today's talk deals with the process in gaining a new skill. 


Why Learn A New Skill?

Gaining new skills is pivotal to your financial wellbeing. The capacity to learn a different skill can have a considerable influence on your career path. This process of skill acquisition applies in every line of work. 

Maybe you are coming to this resource having already grasped the essential concepts in your field. If that is the case, I ask that you shift your attention into a different field. Our ability to use a multidisciplinary approach to thinking enhances our value in the marketplace and allow us the framework to generate better decisions. If you in are engineering, I urge you to grasp concepts in accounting and vice versa. 

The continuous process of learning a new skill is paramount in our ability to remain humble and empathetic toward others, let me explain. If you are knowledgeable in a specific field, you may become less patient with those that struggle with that field. 

We, as humans, struggle to understand that someone does not think the exact way we do. That everyone only is "slightly” different from you. That is not accurate. We differ enormously from one another. We all carry different biases and backgrounds. If you are constantly learning new skills and positioning yourself with knowing a little about a subject, you will have patience with people who are not so knowledgeable in your field of expertise. Their struggle will be easy to relate. 


Why a checklist or series?

A process is an evolution. It is a continual progression from knowing a little to knowing more. 

Proper skill acquisition will not allow you to do the three steps in one instance. One has to follow another.  

In the rules of baseball, after hitting a home run, the batter proceeds in touching all the bases before returning to home base. The player does not touch home base only then walk off. Rules require them to touch every base in sequential order. The team gives up the run and records an out if the player misses one base. 

The Process

 Step 1. Look Foolish

Step #1 Look Foolish

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly. -G.K. Chesterton

I am sorry to be the bearer of this message, but when seeking to grasp a new skill you look foolish. You fail and learn from it. You feel as if you are over the hump, then fail again. 

Some may sneer and taunt at your deficiencies. You appear frivolous. 

During the learning process, you stumble upon a video by an expert in that skill. That person makes it look effortless. It appears as if someone has punched you in the gut. You may suggest to yourself, it is not my “natural” skill. 

I do not believe in “natural skill”. Does it help to be 6 foot 10 inches to get into the NBA? Yes. But does it get you into the league? No. 

Failure is an event, not a person. - Zig Ziglar

Zig’s quote has served me tremendously throughout the years. This step can make you feel like a disappointment in ever since of the word. But always recognize, you are failing at learning a skill. You are not a failure. With every shortcoming, we grow more. 


Step 2. Become Competent

After you fail enough, you notice you are learning and not failing near as much. You are grasping the skill. Is this not a remarkable feeling?  Step 1 is frustrating, so you earned this feeling. 

Your confidence is increasing. You may acknowledge as if it was a natural skill all along. Oh, how our hubris allows us to forget instantly the struggle of Step 1. 

Confidence from this early ability allows you to test the limits of the skill. After confirming the limits, you recognize that you have reached as deep as you can. You are an expert. Congratulations. That is a powerful feat. 

You may think we have arrived at the final step of the process. It is not. There is one final step, and it is the most important. 



3. Gain Courage

You have tested the limits of your own ability and emerged the victor. A strong sense of courage grows. Courage, tenacity, and grit are great and splendid emotions. 

It allows you to contemplate the next mountain or trial with confidence. You free yourself up to take the risk of looking foolish and the internal humiliation again. 

This step is essential in our ability to take on the emotional challenge of learning a different skill. 

I appeal to you not to stop here, but learn and grow in each area of importance to you. It applies to not your career but in your personal life. 

The waters are hazardous and the journey is bumpy. 

Have you devoted 10 years in your field to develop into a true expert, but wish to write a fiction novel? Then, please take this process and get to work.

So again we start at Step 1. 


I would love to hear your questions or comments. Email me directly at