Really enjoyed this audio book. Feel like I now have an actual way to approach skill acquisition instead of just floundering and giving up when it feels like I am not improving. Worth the listen/read!
I have followed Kaufman's blog for a while and been a fan of the Personal MBA since he wrote a controversial article about whether an MBA is a good investment. I've always appreciated his honesty and straight forward style. He is a nerd in the best sense of that term and he's put together a manuscript that provides a generalized template for rapid skill acquisition with several blueprints for skills he learned himself -- he is his own guinea pig! These blueprints could actually be useful for copying what he did and the template is sufficient for putting together your own unique plan to learn anything else. He delivers exactly what he promised and makes a potentially dry topic fascinating in the process. Well done!
Will be learning nunchakus, guitar, backflip, full splits, photography, powerlifting, snowboarding, name memory, dancing, welding. Thats it at first... I can make time, it's easy.
Save your time and listen to something else. The book's message is this, "Try something and you can learn it." My advice…try another book, ANY book, and avoid this one.
Could have been much shorter and not lost any of the message. The descriptions were overly long and not all of the projects needed to be in there.
No, it wasn't. Josh Kaufman doesn't provide any great insights, only the same common sense repeated in different ways in an attempt to sound profound.
No, it's just the same common sense that you learn in school or hear repeated by people who are first learning something.
Rough, monotonous, boring.
I have to say I didn't know what I was buying when I first got this book... And that’s all my fault because the author is honest Josh Kaufman about what the book is.
I saw a the Ted Talk by the author and decided this book should be great.
And when I read the introduction I immediately understood this will be a great reading… during the first chapters.
So, I’m writing the review so that futures readers will know what to expect.
The premise of the book is that with 20 hours of focused practice you can become decent at anything… This doesn't contradict the 10,000 hours rule that says: if you want to be an expert on something you have to practice for 10,000 hours (which is normally done in 10 years).
The author mainly says that with 20 hours you won’t be able to play an instrument like a virtuoso, but you’ll be able to pick a guitar and play in a bonfire… And that is fine with me.
The first 3 chapters, Josh Kaufman, writes about acquiring a skill quickly and the importance of focus and discipline… So far so good.
But the last 6 chapters are the summary of his successful attempts to learn new skills… If you are interested in learning exactly those 6 skills (Yoga, Programming, touch typing, ukulele and windsurfing) then you will enjoy the book in its entirety.
I’m a programmer so when I read the chapter on programming I was thinking to myself either this guy is a genius or he left out most of the learning process, by the end of the chapter he did say that by trial and error he failed more than what he succeeded… But the feeling is that this should be easy, when it’s really not. So, after that chapter I just couldn't take him serious…
Summing up, the first 3 chapters are great, the rest is disappointing but I guess a 40 pages book doesn't look to serious or interesting.
Everything of value (not much IMHO) can be had with the free 80-minute preview also available here on Audible. If you think this is a self-help book that will teach you "How To Learn Anything ... Fast!" I'm afraid you will be disappointed.
The author is not a skill acquisition expert. That in itself isn't a problem if he did some good synthesis of skill acquisition research and then explained meaningfully how he applied the research to his own learning. Unfortunately the book is little more than a collection of long-winded descriptions of his skills rather than a clear exposition of how he learned them. So for example before you hear anything about how he "learned" Yoga he goes into a lot of detail (Wikipedia grade summary) of Yoga, its history, etc. Maybe you will find these passages fascinating, i.e. descriptions of background material from someone who admits to being a total amateur at them. I found these long stretches incredibly dull and pointless given the true purpose of the book. I wanted to LEARN HOW TO LEARN, not to learn what the author learned from the internet about some of his hobbies. Even the parts where he talks about the skills themselves do not bear a very clear relation to the little bit of general advice he provides in the beginning.
Especially as an audiobook (where it's hard to skip to the few places that might be of interest) this book just does not work.
I can understand the negative reviews but the "filler" examples on the advice were quite interesting by themselves (as those were things I would have liked to learn mystelf) and so I did not find them a waste. The advice on programming and yoga were a bit too descriptive, however. Code samples are not ideal for an audible book and should have been summarised. The description of yoga postures also requires a picture or video and not ideal in an audio book.
The initial chapters explain the method, and although they are common sense, nothing revolutionary, it is well explained and good to be reminded of. But the following chapters are really boring since it goes too deep into details about what he is learning, and unless you are interested in the same issues....like for instance playing the ukelele, it is just plain tedious. Couldn't keep my attention at all.
No. Only worthwhile the few first chapters.