"Learn anything... fast!"
Take a moment to consider how many things you want to learn to do. What's on your list? What's holding you back from getting started? Are you worried about the time and effort it takes to acquire new skills - time you don't have and effort you can't spare?
Research suggests it takes 10,000 hours to develop a new skill. In this nonstop world when will you ever find that much time and energy?
To make matters worse, the early hours of practicing something new are always the most frustrating. That's why it's difficult to learn how to speak a new language, play an instrument, hit a golf ball, or shoot great photos. It's so much easier to watch TV or surf the web...
In The First 20 Hours, Josh Kaufman offers a systematic approach to rapid skill acquisition: how to learn any new skill as quickly as possible. His method shows you how to deconstruct complex skills, maximize productive practice, and remove common learning barriers. By completing just 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice you'll go from knowing absolutely nothing to performing noticeably well.
This method isn't theoretical: it's field-tested. Kaufman invites readers to join him as he field tests his approach by learning to program a Web application, play the ukulele, practice yoga, re-learn to touch type, get the hang of windsurfing, and study the world's oldest and most complex board game.
What do you want to learn?
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Maybe someone in their early 20s with little experience in their life might like it.
Not sure. Really not going to.
I'd kill all the stories about things he learned in his past.
Seriously, he finishes his thesis early in the book. The rest is just fill. He talks about how he learned yoga and computer programming (that's all in the past). This was all about 20/20 foresight. How about talking about his thesis and then actually applying it to something he knows nothing about. Write about that. Write about how it's something he wants to learn, but is fighting with all the self doubts, frustration and aggravation of finding the motivation to do what he intellectually wants, but has trouble finding the discipline to actually learn. Prove that thesis. Don't just introduce the thesis and then look back into the past about how it worked for things he already learned. Don't talk about things he had to learn for his business. I have to do that all the time. I have to learn about things I could care less about because I have to do it for my business.
All in all, this book talks about a thesis that could be stated in 3 lines. Only focus on learning one thing at a time. Devote the time to do it and don't let any other learning distractions stop you from this goal. And finally, think before you do. Plan how you're going to learn and do it intelligently. I have a problem with that idea because it all falls back to 20/20 foresight. You can't learn what's important and what isn't until you learn something about it.
In the end, this was a brief thesis that didn't need the full space of a book. It makes money for the author because it's not a brief article that he can put on his website--it's a book. And this book is a waste of time and money.
The book has a great start and fullfilled my expectations. The you get 30min of yoga history and you just stop listening.
First -- you're listening to a book instead of reading it because you wan to "read" faster than actual reading. So, for anything you wan to learn (or want to burn down your learning bucket list), you learn by doing it. Based on his experience and research, Josh has come up with 10 principles for learning enough to enjoy.
1. Choose a lovable skill
2. Choose the target performance level
3. Learn one -- only one -- at a time.
4. Deconstruct the skill to sub skills
5. Get the tools to help you start practicing the skill asap.
and 5 more.
Key emphasis on the getting to doing and acquiring skill, tips creating the environment to sticking to it makes all the difference in this approach. First few chapters will move to action -- a great success for any book by any measure.
The book also details Josh's successful application of these techniques to learning Yoga, web application, Go, touch typing, ukulele and windsurfing. I treat this as bonus.
Web Developer, Eldoren Design, www.eldoren.com
Just a quick note - I am about 85% through the book and its already provided some great insite and interesting information. In a few places it seemed a bit slow and then took off and I was hooked all over again. I like this author and he has provided some great value in this book. The narration is awesome....one of the easier audible books to listen to.
I would rate this a 4.5 out of five but they only allow a 4/5. Highly recommended to my friends, family and business associates.
It's in the top 20% of all the personal improvement books I've listened to.
It reinforces the idea of Deliberate Practice, which I first heard about in "Talent is Overrated".
Any time an author is reading his own book, it's going to be hit or miss. Fortunately, Josh Kaufman read it well. Having the author read his own book wasn't a negative at all.
The notion that you don't have to be a black-belt expert at everything. That if you want to learn something, spend 20 hours learning it in an effective manner and then you're good enough to move on to another skill.
I wasn't a huge fan of all the examples - how he learned Go, or to type, or to program, etc. Seemed a bit like filler. But it's worth listening to nonetheless.
I don't know.
I don't know.
All stories telling me how do yoga, programming, playing go, sailing, etc.
The author has some great advice for learning but the meat of the advice comes in about the first 45 minutes and the rest is just telling me how to do yoga, program computers, play GO, sailing, etc., stuff I'm not interested in, nor did I want to learn about. I realize the author is trying to use those as examples as to how he learned something but it was ridiculously detailed and certainly took him more than 20 hours. I feel like the rest of the book was decdicated to plugging his wifes Yoga video and his other computer businesses and his "20 hour" website.
It real waste of my time and my money for this book!
Made me Smarter
The web programming example walked through the steps, giving an exact account of what the solution would look like in practice. Not only that, the example is so detailed, with resources listed, that I want to re-listen and build a web based program myself.
Josh's voice is easy to listen too, and he does a great job of translating sincerity in wanting to help anyone learn whatever they want to learn, fast. The willingness to so honestly and openly share his knowledge is admirable.
It is not a one sitting book. It not long though, and sections motivated me to get up and Practice what I want to Learn. Very motivational.
I shared this book with co-workers who are studying for project management certifications. Three of them, who reviewed the material, were impressed and are using the 'practice' concept for studying, rather than spending so much time on reading material. One successfully passed the exam, and the rest of us have our exams scheduled soon.
Read the book, listened to the audio book and set out to practice using the methods Josh described.
Less then 20 hours later I was making acceptable hand cut dovetails.
Just over 20 hours later I was coding to the just over basic level I needed to accomplish a specific task..
Practical explanations of practical methodologies that worked. Since reading the book I have learned a new skill I wanted, Learned one I needed and learned one i Promptly abandoned.
If you want to save yourself some time and learn more about skills and yourself this book is a must read.
I do have to agree with some of the folks that gave this book poor reviews. You can save even more time by only reading the first few chapters that explain the method and thought processes. Over half the content is filler that without the hard copy will only make some sense.
The book is informative, instructive, and true to the author's intent. In the first 6 chapters, which is only 20% of the way through the book, you will learn everything you need. The remainder of the book reinforces these teachings with real examples, one which I'm sure will enlighten you, as it has enlightened and validated me.
The 6 stories which reinforce the key teaching of the book.
To be pleased to know something about lots of my interests, rather than nothing about things I am interested in.
Josh takes you through a comprehensive plan for learning anything quickly. That first 20 hours is crucial in your ability to learn (whatever it is you want to learn) and eventually master.
In addition, he walks you through different examples of how he learned to program, play an instrument and learn a new touch typing method. I listened to the examples I wanted to and moved on (as he gave us permission to).
All in all, I think it is a book I would go back to again and again to refresh my skills and challenge myself to learn something new.
"Not a good listen"
I'm not sure who would want to listen to this book - somebody who wanted to learn how to do yoga? the book went through all the yoga positions and how to do them? I have done yoga I really didn't need anybody to tell me how to do it? I thought it was going to give me a game plan for learning some sort of framework but it didn't.
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