As little kids rush off to school with their shiny new backpacks and lunch pails, Men, let’s take a look at our own education. Let’s invest in a bit of self-education to raise the bar in our own lives, learning new skills, useful information, and adding value to our lives.
Don’t confuse natural talents with skills.
Natural talents are things you are naturally good at doing. They can be refined and sharpened with hard work and practice, but the basic intuitive abilities are there.
A skill is learned, practiced, and developed. Natural talents may indicate what skills you would be best suited for, but a skill is not hard-wired.
For example – you may be a naturally talented singer, and you may work hard to develop that talent, and become great at it.
You might not know, though, how to build a guitar from scratch. So maybe, you decide this is a skill you would like to learn.
Is there a skill you want to add to your utility belt? Follow this checklist to turn it from an idea to an accomplishment.
1. Identify a skill that you have the natural capacity to learn. If you are tone deaf, you probably shouldn’t try to become a singer. However, if you have hands, you can learn to build. If you can walk, you can learn to run.
2. Research your skill. My dad always told me that you can learn anything you want to know in a book. Now that my dad has entered the digital age, he’s amended his statement to say that you can learn anything you want to know from Google. And he’s right. Want to learn a skill? Find out WHAT you need to learn – just do a simple google search, identify websites, videos, books, tutorials, etc. that will give you the information that you need.
3. Make a plan. “Failure to plan is planning to fail.” Take the time to sketch out a plan, a schedule, and goals for the process of learning your skill. That includes time to go through the research you’ve collected, time to practice it yourself, and people that you may need to connect with for mentorship or advice.
4. Execute your plan. Information without application is useless data. Take the information that you’ve assembled, and the plan you’ve sketched out – and actually do it. You can SAY you want to build a chicken coop – but until you build it – you are not a chicken farmer. You can’t learn a new skill without implementing that learning. Chances are – it’s fear of failure that stops you from actually executing the plan. And as ANY learner can tell you – sometimes failure is part of that learning process. Be prepared to take the risks.