How long does it take to acquire a skill? What is a reasonable expectation? All of us, at some point, learn a new skill: golf, dancing, maybe even a weight loss or fitness goal. Do we really understand the effort it takes when we start our new endeavor? My answer is, probably not.
While listening to an audio book on finances from Tony Robbins, I came across a few gems of information of why this is.
Part of the answer also lies in generational expectations. I have been hearing and reading a lot information about millennials. Let’s face it, whether we are a true millennial or not, we all are living in today’s world. A world that is fast-paced and information is readily available at our fingertips. This fast-paced world is skewing our perception of how much time it takes to master a skill. Our lack of patience is hindering our progress.
Most people assume when they read, listen, or learn something new that they’ve mastered it, but that’s just the beginning of what it takes to achieve true mastery. That 1st level is called Cognitive Understanding. This is the ability to understand a concept, however the information by itself isn’t valuable, it is only the beginning.
Real value of the 2nd level is called Emotional Mastery. This is when you’ve heard something through enough repetition that it stimulates feelings inside you: desires, hungers, fears, and concerns. Now you are capable of conscious and consistent use of what you’ve learned.
The 3rd and final level is Physical Mastery. It is said, “repetition is the mother of skill” and that is the only way to achieve the final stage. Physical Mastery is to physically perform something without consciously thinking out exactly what you are doing. Your actions are second nature and become natural as part of your character. This is such an exciting stage where true excellence exists.
In order to feel accomplishment in what we do, we need to allow ourselves enough time to go through each stage, patiently. No matter how talented one is, and how quickly information is attained, experience is not gained in a short period of time. It is said, to master a concept you have to do it 10,000 times. Time will give you the experience to go through the things you haven’t learned yet, sometimes they will appear as obstacles. One of my favorite sayings is “You don’t know what you don’t know, until you know it”. Be patient, and time and will help you to figure out what that is.
Live, love, dance, and enjoy!
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