How Learning A Skill Becomes Integrated Into Your Life

Every time you learn something new, you will be able to pick up a new skill easier the next time.

People often ask me how I manage to be fairly good at a broad range of skills, and have the ability to pick something up very quickly.

In my opinion, this is because I’ve tried a lot of different and unique things over the years.

Take wakeboarding for example. In two-three attempts, I was able to get out of the water and comfortably cross the wake on both sides. After a few separate occasions of practice, I was able to make the full jump across the full wake of the boat.

Others may find this feat quite difficult and take months, even years, to accomplish.

But, when thinking about the skills and patterns of wakeboarding, it comes down to a few major skills/abilities:

  • balance
  • proprioception (awareness of your physical body and position in space)
  • coordination

What’s similar to wakeboarding? Anything with your body moving across an environment — skateboarding, ice skating, rollerblading, balance board, riding a bicycle, bodyboarding — all of which I have done on and off for years.

And so when learning to wakeboard, or even surf, the movements and skills required are very similar to what I’ve already done hundreds of times before.

This can apply with pretty much anything — ball sports, juggling, handstands, etc.

The more skills you learn, experience, and try, the faster you’ll be able to pick up something new.

Learned skills become integrated into various areas of your life. And with every new skill you try to learn, you can expect that you have developed some underlying aspect of it.

Of course, the principle of practice (and deliberate practice) comes in here to a minor extent… but more on that in a future post.

Have you experienced this? Is there something you have picked up faster than others?

Nathan

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