As we progress in life we pick up skills and develop talents that to some seem to come naturally. When we watch our favorite band perform, they do it with ease. An engaging public speaker makes you feel as if you could get up there and give the same speech with as much enthusiasm and power. I am amazed when I watch both professional and non-professional snowboarders do tricks, and make it look so easy. When, I go about trying to play a guitar, snowboard or give a public speech, at first it wasn’t as easy as it looked. Whatever it is that you want to get very good at, each person within their natural abilities can accomplish their goal of being very good at something.
The key word here is goal and I would also add focus. When someone wants to get very good at something, a person must give it time to develop mastery and second nature reflexes that comes with time and effort. When I speak with experts within their niche mastery, they ALL tell me that it took years of practice and execution to develop into the natural skills that is the end results of their years of hard work. When we see the experts do their thing, we usually see the end result, but in the background and behind closed doors, these masters are practicing, refining and honing their skills.
Many people look for the easy route and want to impatiently become not only good, but great at something but do not put the effort necessary to achieve the level of expertise. I stated focus earlier because, for you to be very good at something, you must give it focus. I am sure some people could handle multiple activities and tasks, but to really become very good, give it room to develop and give it the necessary focus for you to learn and grow instead of piling on many things to learn all at once. Give focus to a few things and develop mastery in those areas before taking on another challenge.
I am not saying that nobody could become very good at many different things, for example, Leonardo Da Vinci was very good at many different things. You too can become very good at many different things, but do give it focus, time and effort for it to develop.
An analogy I can give is one of my favorite past times, snowboarding. When I first stepped on a snowboard, I was somewhat comfortable because I used to skate and surf, but snowboarding was completely different. As I jumped on the ski lift and the part where you have to jump off came right in front of me, I fell flat on my behind. I kept falling, and was not able to get too far until I fell again. When I finally got the hang of getting further than 10 feet, I didn’t know what to do, so I did what I knew at that moment and I fell. I caught myself saying to myself that I probably can’t do this and probably should choose another recreational sport, because this one hurts! I kept at it and I kept learning. I kept getting up and learned how to stop, slow down, steer myself and keep myself from falling. As the season went on, I was able to go down an entire run without falling and graduated to the blue trails. I still fell here and there, but I kept getting up. I was hooked from the natural high it gave me and the natural laser focus to the task at hand, because if I didn’t, I could seriously injure myself.
Now as years passed and season after season has gone by, I consider myself a decent snowboarder. I catch myself learning more of the details of the sport such as learning to control my breathing, looking ahead at where I want to go and play with the different settings to get better at turning. Now I can do jumps and go in between trees as well as challenge myself to go fast and really enjoy each decent down the mountain.
Now I am not a professional snowboarder or have the goal to be one, but I consider myself very good at snowboarding to where I can teach others and some have even made money at doing so. I gave this example because, just like in life and the skills we want to master. It takes time and when we fall, we must get back up. Things start to come naturally as our body and mind understands the movements needed to perform. Before, I was thinking way too hard to just go 10 feet and now I can go down a mountain without really thinking, it seems natural.
Like anything else, playing a guitar, public speaking, dancing, writing or whatever it is you want to get very good at, it takes practice! It takes learning from your past mistakes and correcting them. Some people progress faster than some and at times we must take a look at our natural abilities to do something, like playing in the NFL. Even if you want to accomplish this, you must have the natural abilities to deliver.
If you give up on your pursuit too soon, you might not ever reach the point of being very good at it and go on to something else and start the whole cycle again. This example could be applied to anything you do, and it worked for my sales skills, public speaking, writing, learning, social interaction, communicating and of course snowboarding.
I have added many different skills and talents over the years, and I have discovered that the fastest way to become very good at something is coming to the realization that it takes time, effort, focus, talent, and dedication to come to the desired end result. Don’t always look for the end result, and enjoy the journey as you learn. I look back and realize that the most fun was to discover and feel the joy of figuring things out to become better along the way. When I reached a point of mastery, it is still fun but the journey there has been the best part. Have fun developing yourself and “soon” you too will be very good at your chosen “something”.