Tuesday, May 31

To Master a Skill

"It's a good time to finish up old tasks." - Fortune Cookie

We live in an era where we want it all, and we want it all right now. Even one of my most frequently asked questions is "How did you get where you are today? How did you master your skill?" Well I'm far from being a master at any of my skills, and I look forward to learning plenty more in the years to come. On the other hand, I recently learned about the "10,000 Hour Rule," from the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. This rule claims that one must spend a total of around 10,000 hours practicing to become successful in any field.

That's a long time! Meaning that would be roughly equivalent to 10 years. So according to that definition, one can easily "master" the skills that they seek through practice alone; myself included. Take art as the most apparent example: Have I been drawing and painting for over ten years? Yes, for way longer than that. I've been doing it my whole life. So it's about practice, not talent. Talent can only take you so far.

Let's break it down further:

1. What Do You Want to Learn? When I was little I knew what I wanted to do, and that was art. There was no other thing that made me that happy and I decide, probably without even realizing the future significance, that I wanted to be an artist. So what is it that makes you happy? Go with your gut. What is it that you would like to master? Define it, and stick with it. 

2. Stepping Stones. Again, using art as an example, I knew that I couldn't just become a professional artist overnight. There had to be what I like to call "stepping stones" along the way.  Perhaps practicing a certain technique or medium until I felt confident with it. Reading a ton of books or watching videos on the subject. Taking lots of art classes. Learning from a mentor, in my case, my talented mother. Starting a traditional or online portfolio of my work. Researching how to get a job. The list can go on and on, but one day all of those stepping stones will take you to your desired destination. 

3. Practice Makes Perfect. 10,000 hours! I cannot stress how important this is. If you want to get good at something: Do it, and then do it again, and again. There is no easy way to achieve something. It is all about the time and dedication that one puts into their craft.

4. Never Stop Learning. Does the wise man tell you that he's a master? Definitely not. Life is a journey, constantly in motion, and there will always be something new to learn or improve. It's exciting to dream, but implementation is key!

If you're interested in learning more about art, make sure to check out my video tutorial channel ClaudiaMSutton.

Here's to learning!
♡ Claudia

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