How To Be An Expert: 8 Proven Secrets to Superior Skill


Here is an excerpt from Eric Barker he posted at his blog, “Barking Up the Wrong Tree.” To read the complete article, check out others, and sign up for email alerts, please click here.

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Here’s how to be an expert at anything:

o Be in it for the long haul. Find me something else that creates a 400% boost in results. Please.

o Find a mentor. Wax on, wax off, Daniel-san.

o Start with what’s important. Bedside manner is great but I’ll take the surgeon who focused on where to cut, thanks.

o “Train like you fight.” Don’t practice drunk. But if you do…

o Use “desirable difficulty.” Easy in, easy out. Your brain encodes info better when you struggle.

o Get fast, negative feedback. Listen to SEALs. If they’re not experts, the result is much worse than when you screw up.

o Study less. Test more. Test before the test and the test will go better.

o Naps are steroids for your brain. You’re not “sleeping on the job,” you’re “passively synthesizing skills.”

So you do all eight things and practice your tush off and now you’re The Master. Know what else you are?

When you’re good at something and you do it often, the result isn’t just promotions or more wins on the tennis court, you also smile more often.

People who deliberately exercise their “signature strengths” — talents that set them apart from others — on a daily basis became significantly happier for months.

Check out Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work:

“When 577 volunteers were encouraged to pick one of their signature strengths and use it in a new way each day for a week, they became significantly happier and less depressed than control groups. And these benefits lasted: Even after the experiment was over, their levels of happiness remained heightened a full 3 months later. Studies have shown that the more you use your signature strengths in daily life, the happier you become.”

It’s not lonely at the top. It’s happy.

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Here is a direct link to the complete article.

Eric Barker is a writer for Wired magazine. He uses the latest findings in the science of human behavior to improve our performance at work and at home.

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