4. Breakdown the skill into its components. For example, playing the piano isn’t just about hitting the correct keys in the correct order. It has several skills interwoven into a larger skill. To be a good pianist, you must be able to do several things well:
• Compensating for the fact that some fingers are much stronger than others
• Understanding music theory
• And more
5. If appropriate, get a coach. You can learn to play piano by yourself, but you’ll have a hard time finding a high-level pianist that didn’t receive expert instruction. At the very least, find materials created by an expert. These may be in the form of books, videos, webinars, or websites. Even periodic meetings with a coach can keep you on the right track.
6. Focus on what’s most important. The old adage that 20% of your efforts will account for 80% of your results is true. Determine which activities and skills will yield the greatest results. Most people focus on the activities that are the easiest or the most interesting. Avoid being that person. Your progress will be faster if you focus on the most important tasks.
• This is often referred to as deliberate practice. Banging on the piano keys while you catch the end of Rocky V isn’t the same as focusing all of your attention on learning how to play a C with both hands.
7. Get started quickly. Avoid falling into the trap of gathering an excessive amount of information before you get started. The person that masters a skill is the one that spend his time wisely. Watching videos of someone playing the piano isn’t a substitute for doing it yourself. Dive into the practical part of mastery quickly.
You’ll be surprised by how quickly you learn if you choose an appropriate skill, focus on the most effective tasks, and practice consistently. Learning a new skill can change your life. Choose a skill that will add value to your life and you’ll benefit from it forever.