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3 Steps to Becoming Great at Anything

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Today I’m going to talk about a question that I get asked a lot.

How can I become good at this one thing?

And what do you know? We’ve broken it down into three easy, repeatable steps that will help you become an expert in any field.

Let’s go in.

Step 1: Master the Basics

First, you need to know the 20% that drive 80% of your results. This is based on the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle. This applies to just about everything from economic production to customer purchasing, taxes and even corruption.

To be great at something, you need to identify the 20% of actions that produce 80% of the results.

For example, consider writing. Editing is 20% which affects 80% of the results. Ernest Hemingway famously said, “All first drafts are crap.” Through corrections and rewrites, your writing will shine, clean and beautiful.

Similarly, we see the 80/20 rule emerge in many fields, such as music and chess. So focus on figuring out where the 80/20 point lies in the field you’re trying to become an expert in.

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Step 2: Set up your feedback system

You can’t be an expert at anything until you receive feedback that helps you improve.

Feedback can come in many forms, such as criticism from teachers and coaches, or feedback from friends and family. The key is to establish a consistent system of performance feedback and evaluation. This helps iterate and improve.

Many people make two mistakes when it comes to feedback. Do not accept feedback (for fear of criticism) or refuse to listen (because of ego) when it is received. A good coach can help you with this by pointing out when you’re protecting your ego or ignoring good feedback.

Remember to be realistic and honest with the criticism you receive.

Step 3: Iterate for 5,000-10,000 hours

Well, the hard truth is, there are no shortcuts. Over time he should repeat 5,000-10,000 hours. Accept your mistakes and learn from them. The sooner you resolve your failures, the sooner you will experience success.

Don’t be fooled by the myth of overnight success. For example, the Beatles played and practiced for hours in damp bars in Germany before he became famous. So does Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz. He didn’t become a millionaire overnight. For seven years he worked all night long.

There are no shortcuts. If you want to be great at something—everything— have to work. And then there are the hard truths of today.

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