How to Learn a Skill the Best Way

a camera lens hold on focus
Photo: Ed Nierva

The debate is still going on whether it’s better to be a jack-of-all-trades or a master of one. The result? People get confused about where to focus and how to learn a skill.

Choosing to be a professional singer might not give you the stardom made official by Britain’s Got Talent, American Idol, or The Voice. But, as long as you love what you are doing and you do your best, being a master of a single talent can give you a lifelong fulfillment. The same if you are a professional driver who is, at the same time, finishing a real estate report while waiting for your night shift English class as an instructor.

The thing is, how can you be a jack-of-all-trades or a master of one? This is hard if you want to learn almost everything because you can’t learn all skills even you’ll live more than a hundred years.

The best possible way to master your skills, based on my unsolicited observation, is to focus. Easy to say but hard to do.

To elaborate my point and to expound a simple word, I’ve created a strategy founded on the acronym F.O.C.U.S.

Find Your Skills
It is up to you if you want to be a master of one. In the world of the competitive market, it is safer to have at least three personal assets. It is better if the three are interconnected because it’s hard to be an accountant while aesthetically developing a website for a day care center on your own.

Overcome Hindrances
The challenge of being focused is the overwhelming time pressure, messy office cubicle, crying hungry dog, unplanned escapade, traffic, looming bills, and all the physical, emotional, and environmental distractions. This is why it’s significant to know what you really want to do and why you are doing what you are doing.

Create a Strategy
To help you deal with obstacles and to strengthen your chosen skills, it is necessary to form a personalized method to reach your goal. A well-developed game plan will guide you to see the bird’s-eye view of your skill set. Just be sure that you are doing SMART (Specific, Measurable, Acceptable, Realistic and Time-Bound) plans.

Understand Subskills
Impatience will be your biggest enemy in your journey to being a “world expert”—if such pseudonym really exists. Some of us tend to think that we can be an authority in a particular skill after an exhausting 24-hour (or even a week) reading, analyzing, and practicing. Thomas Edison didn’t invent the light bulb in a single sitting. Get the whole concept of your skill and master it by understanding your subskills and sharpening them one step at a time.

For example, if you want to be a skilled writer, you need to harness the related tools of writing, such as spelling, vocabulary, grammar, word usage, style, tone, understanding your audience, and all the pieces needed to craft a poem, prose, short story, or novel.

Stick to Your Plan
From identifying your skills and some possible barriers to developing a clear plan and learning some connected abilities, FOCUS is the key. Stick to your goal to learn a skill and master a gift or talent—such as skating, playing the piano, coding a specific language, basketball, photography, designing a cake for your own wedding, or climbing Mount Everest in 30 days.

Whatever the skill or skills you have decided to conquer, hold on to your plan until you reach a desirable result. After all, no one knows if you’ll be the next Dan Brown, Mark Zuckerberg, Manny Pacquiao, and whosoever you want to be. Well, you don’t need to be someone. Mastering a skill is an achievement itself.

“I don’t care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don’t harness it and focus it on a specific target, and hold it there you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants.” — Zig Ziglar

If you appreciate the article on how to learn a skill, please drop a comment or share it on social media to help others to get inspired, too. By doing so, you’re also encouraging me to write more blogs.

JP Abecilla

JP Abecilla is a lifestyle Filipino blogger, freelance content writer, copy editor, and motivational speaker based in Cebu City, Philippines. He was awarded Blog of the Year 2020 (2nd Place) and Best Cebu Events Blog of 2019. More than writing, JP loves drinking a cup of coffee and eating donuts while reading a book or magazine.


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