How to Learn: Strategies for Starting, Practicing & Mastering the Skills You’ve Always Wanted | Mike Boyd | Skillshare

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How to Learn: Strategies for Starting, Practicing & Mastering the Skills You’ve Always Wanted

teacher avatar Mike Boyd, Learner of things... teacher of things

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (38m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Mike’s Method for Learning

    • 3. How We Learn & Mindset

    • 4. Getting started: Finding passion

    • 5. Practicing Smart

    • 6. Pushing Through the Dip

    • 7. Success: Setting and Refining Goals

    • 8. Closing Thoughts

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About This Class

I’m Mike Boyd, filmmaker and Educational YouTuber, and in this class, I’m going to teach you everything I know about how to master the skills you have always wanted to learn.

Over the last 3 years, I’ve learned 50 new skills from scratch as part of my “Learn Quick” series on YouTube. Many people have joined me for the journey, with my channel surpassing 100+ million views and 1 million subscribers.

Throughout those years, I kept a journal of what works, what doesn’t, and what helps me learn skills efficiently and quickly. This class is a product of that research: my class on how to “Learn Quick” yourself!

This class is for anyone, any age, who wants to learn something new, reduce their likelihood of quitting a new challenge, or get good at something faster. From my personal learning process to tips on how to deal with the dip in the learning curve, I hope to provide you with impactful and actionable techniques that you can employ immediately to see real results and progress towards your goals.

In this 40-minute class, you’ll learn to:

  • Cultivate passion
  • Practice efficiently
  • Deal with frustration
  • Train your brain the most effective way
  • Develop strategies to reduce your likelihood of quitting
  • Self-diagnose issues

Let’s get started!

Music Credit:

All Music from Epidemic Sound

Meet Your Teacher

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Mike Boyd

Learner of things... teacher of things


My name is Mike Boyd and I run a YouTube channel all about learning skills as quickly as possible. I have shared some tutorials here on a couple of things I’ve learned. Hopefully you find them useful :)

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1. Introduction: I believe that armed with the correct tools, anyone can learn whatever they like. I want to debunk this notion that people are born with a set potential that can't be changed. I don't subscribe to that model. My name is Mike Boyd and I am a YouTuber. My channel is all about learning new skills. I make videos where I document the learning process, all the way from the struggles and frustration to the joy of success. Over the last three years, I've learned 50 new skills from scratch, and a bunch of people have joined me on my journey with the channel surpassing over 1 million subscribers. During that time, I've kept a journal of what works for me and what doesn't, what helps me learn skills more efficiently, and this class is a product of this research, how to learn effectively. In this class, I'll cover my learning process, cultivating passion, efficient practice and study techniques, and how to deal with that depth in the learning curve and frustration. I'll provide real tangible techniques that you can employ today that actually work to help your learning process become more effective and more efficient. My goal by the end of this class is to equip you with the tools and the courage you need to start something new. Through the class project, we'll formulate a clear pathway to success that will provide the insight needed to break through barriers that you may experience in the learning curve. This means that you can approach skills that you've always wanted to learn that perhaps in the past seemed too daunting with a confidence that you need to get stuck in and to get what you want out of the learning experience. This class is for anyone, any age, any level of experience, who wants to learn something new, who wants to reduce their likelihood of quitting and get good at something faster. Join me in the first lesson and let's get started. 2. Mike’s Method for Learning: I thought I'd share a little background and some insight into my learning method. But first, some history. Three years ago, I had this crazy idea where I would learn a kickflip on a skateboard from scratch in under 24 hours. I grabbed my camera, pushed record, and started filming every second that I spent on the board. It took me less than six hours to land my first kickflip. This idea of learning something quickly with really focused deliberate practice, and quantifying practice time and hours, really seemed to resonate with people. I continued doing this and I built my YouTube channel around this concept of learning skills in this way. Three years and 50 skills later, and here I'm. Over that time, I've developed a method that I use to learn skills and it works really well for me. Here's a quick summary of the key points. I tend to jump into learning almost immediately after the idea pops into my head. I try to leave no time for backing out. I also do very little background research on equipment or techniques beforehand. Sometimes I find myself put off from even starting if I look into it too much. I always set a very well defined goal; clear, concise and unambiguous. I record myself practicing. This acts as my journal of progress. I try to stay disciplined and motivated with regard to practice. Since I'm making a video, I find myself actively embracing struggle as part of the theme of my channel. Pretty simple stuff. This really works for me, and there are a number of benefits to doing things this way. It's really fast. Well, I think so anyway. I end up trying more stuff overall than if I had hesitated at the start. Having a clearly defined goal at the beginning and then smashing through that goal as you progress is really rewarding. There's no muddiness. It's very clear. You achieve this, so you have a reason to celebrate. By filming everything, I'm effectively journaling my progress or you could use a notebook. What this means is I can clearly see my successes and this keeps my morale and motivation levels really high. Furthermore, by documenting or journaling my progress, it records the struggles that I endured to get to this point. Overcoming them is that much more rewarding. It changes how I see struggle as no longer something that holds me back. It's something that I overcame. Since I've done this for a while now, I've developed a number of practice or studying techniques that really compress the whole learning experience down to a much shorter time. We'll go over those in the lessons to come. Overall, I found this quick pace learning style combined with smart practice or studying technique, to make the learning experience quicker and more enjoyable. Just before we jump into the next lesson, there's a couple of things I think you should do. You've probably already got in your mind a skill that you'd want to try and learn next. Using the template that I've provided in the Skillshare projects session, you can download that template. Write down a really clear, concise, bitesize milestone goal that you'd like to achieve within that skill. It could be something like learning to write your first program in Python or to learn three chords on the guitar. As you progress with the skill, employing the techniques that we'll learn in this course, keep your Skillshare project updated as you get closer to that goal. Treat this as your journal of your progress. In the next lesson, we'll look at mindset and how our brains learn new information. I'll see you then. 3. How We Learn & Mindset: In this lesson, I'm going to share with you some research that really forged my way of thinking, my mindset that I use day in, day out. When I first started my YouTube channel all about learning new skills, the aim was really to test the abilities and limits of my mind and my hardware, and see what I was capable of. Around this time, I also learned of some neuroscience research, that in the last 20 years or so has really changed how we view how our brains learn, how we take on new information. Previous to this research, our brains were thought of being analogous to a computer. As in the hardware was fixed and come out the lessons that hardware couldn't really be approved upon or changed. Our brains could do different tasks, but we couldn't really affect our ability or our performance in any meaningful way. Our hardware couldn't grow or change, essentially, there was no plasticity in our brain. That's been shown not to be true. Modern research has shown that our brains are much more like muscles than we previously thought and now they can grow, adapt, they can diminish, they can be trained. Moreover, it has been shown, that this plasticity of our brain extends well into adulthood and is not just limited to childhood. This leads us to debunk the analogy that the brain is a vessel that can be filled or a hard drive with a fixed capacity. That's not how we work. The brain is much more like a muscle that can be trained, constantly adapting and growing. When I learned of this model, this was huge for me. I've always hated the idea of being boxed in, and that my abilities and my talents were predetermined before I was even born. This new train of thought leads me to think that if there's something that I suck at, I can just train for it and become better at it. A while ago I learned how to shutter a wine glass using just my voice. I made it for a YouTube video, pretty silly video but I love doing this. What I had to do was I had to train my vocal cords, and my diaphragm to produce a much louder tone than previous. Over time I built the volume up until eventually I was able to break the wine glass. I know how to train my muscles and my body. Everyone knows how to do this. You do some work, you eat some food, you go to sleep, the next day you're slightly better. The model is really simple. For some reason, there is a divide between training your body and training your mind. The general consensus of neuroscience today is that there's not much difference between training muscles and training your mind. Just like our biceps, our brains can grow and adapt and become stronger with training. Things that seemed impossible at first, now perhaps seem easier with just a little bit of training. You wouldn't go to the gym and put on 250 pounds on squat rack straight away. You understand that to get to that level you would require work. That's exactly how our brains work. We start at the bottom and we train just as if we were training with a muscle. The idea of plasticity in the brain, the ability to adapt and grow forms the mindset that I carry with me to each new skill that I try and conquer. I find it much easier to put in the time for practicing, or studying if I consider it as training just as if I was training in the gym. I treat adversity and difficulty much more like add in 25 pounds onto the squat rack rather than a bump in the road. Since we now know that working the brain promotes neuroplastisicity, this means that learning skills, struggling, can be transferred into other things because your brain is fitter. It's sharper. This is really good news for me because I spend a lot of my time learning seemingly pointless skills, like spinning this book. Working and learning this silly skill isn't so silly after all, because I can carry the fitness generated from working on this onto skills that actually matter, like learning how to edit videos for work or learning how to wire up these video lights so that I don't burn my studio down. You are not stuck with the abilities that you currently have. You can train your mind, just like you train your biceps. You can work hard and promote growth and adapt, and you can do this throughout your life. This mindset backed by piles and piles of research, has really redefined how I approach and deal with struggle, treating difficulties as a hard day's training rather than a setback. Here's my proposition with this new mindset, the thought that the brain is like a muscle, go and pick a class on Skillshare, there's a skill that you would consider perhaps not too useful to you in outside life. Something that you just want to use as exercise to train your brain. Use this new mindset and see how you go on. See if it makes a difference for you. Something like learning the Rubik's Cube, or learning to juggle or something like that. In this lesson, we've talked about how our brains remain plastic with the ability to grow and adapt throughout our life and that means that this analogy of our brain's been like vessels that can be filled as now debunked and replaced with a model of our brains that has much more like a muscle, one that can grow and adapt with stimulation throughout our lives. In the next lesson, we're going to cover getting started, finding a passion, and making a start on something that you want to learn. I'll see you there. 4. Getting started: Finding passion: I am often asked where do I derive the grit, perseverance, the tenacity to do some of the things that I do in the videos that are on my YouTube channels. Some of them are extremely unpleasant. Take swimming in freezing cold water for example, if you guys think that I wanted to wake up every morning and jump in a freezing cold river wearing just speedos, then you are definitely wrong. The driving force behind my grit and perseverance for these things comes from passion. I do this week in, week out and I have a huge passion for film-making, which derives me to do some of the difficult challenges that I've done on my channel. Four years ago, I was really into photography, I wanted to be a photographer. That was why I wanted to do. In photography you need to put yourself in unique and difficult positions to get unique photographs. I often struggled with that. I found that there was a point where I would not go any farther with pushing myself with photography because I found myself in a position where I felt stagnated. I wasn't moving forward. I was really in a difficult place with photography and I essentially had given up. Since I had the camera, what actually happened was, I ended up flicking my camera over to video mode just before I sold it and this is when things start [inaudible] for me. It was like a supernova went off in my head. I was instantly interested again in what I was doing with a camera. This time with video work. I immediately started researching how to edit, how to color grade composition, lighting. I remember the feeling when I first started shooting video, it was an immediate spike and interest, a passion. I believe that that passion is visible and my work is evident in the long hours that I do and the things that I tried to capture on film as evidence that I'm really passionate about this. Finding this passion was not something that was simple for me to do, I had to work to do this. I had to work to get to a point where I was doing something, engaging in something that spikes my interest and I was passionate about. So often in life we're told to follow our passion but that doesn't really help people who don't yet have one. So how did I find my passion? Well, I did that by trying and quitting lots and lots of different things. I had lots and lots of hobbies when I was younger and I took them seriously, I enjoyed them. I poured my heart and soul into them. But it was really only film making that took a hold of me in such a way that I would call it a passion. I think the idea of blindly following your passion is somewhat of a false say. A passion is something that you need to uncover, discover, work on and put work into in order for it to give you back something. There's a psychologist who studies this kind of thing. Her name is Angela Duckworth. She's done lots of studies on high performing individuals, athletes, people who do really well at spelling bee, marines. What she's found about these people is that they are not necessarily born with an inherent talent for something, but rather they have worked on kindled a passion for that thing. That passion has driven them to become excellent in their chosen field. Grit is what you need to overcome the difficulty in the learning curve. Talent doesn't make you gritty but passion does. There needs to be some level of underlying interests within you to get you through the depth and the learning curve. But the only way to find out if that's there or if it's worth putting your time into, is to try something out. By trying things out, it is inevitable that you're not going to enjoy everything you do. You're going to pick things up, lose interest and move on. This is all just part of the process of finding and working on developing a passion. I ran a competition on my YouTube channel a while back. The idea behind this was to promote smaller YouTube channels. You had to have an active YouTube channel to apply for this. Over 1,000 people applied for this and only 20 of them were selected to go forward and make a video that might appear on the channel. The overwhelming reason why most people weren't chosen for this position was because they had not yet produced any content. That showed me that there is a problem with people who have perhaps an interest and something but haven't yet done anything to forge or cultivate a passion within that particular interest. I can sympathize with that position. It's scary starting something new, you look like a queer or a failure if you don't go through with it. But that's not the way I view things at all. I think that quitting and failing at different things is an important part of developing and kindling a passion and any particular fields. My advice to you is to go and try many, many different things until something really takes hold. The good news is that you have already taken the first step because you're on skill share right now. There are thousands and thousands of classes out there for you to try. You can try something for a couple of lessons, see if it sparks an interest and if it doesn't, it's free for you to just move on and try something else until something really takes hold of you. Your journey towards something that you feel passionate about might not be a straight line. It might meander through many different disciplines. But I'm here to tell you that that's okay. That's part of the process. In this lesson we've covered grit, tenacity and passion. We've discussed how passion is not something that is handed to you or that you are born with but rather something that is kindled, that has worked on, that is forged. My advice to you is, rather than wait for passion to come to you, is to go out there and cultivate it for yourself, find something that is worth you pouring your heart and soul into, because that is when you will really make progress in any particular skill. 5. Practicing Smart: For 50 skills learned over the past three years, I have spent a lot of time practicing. Some of that practice was really good, fruitful practice, and some was about for waste of time. We don't want to waste our time when we're practicing because learning new skills is difficult enough as is so I've compiled a list of smart practice techniques that I employ everyday when I'm learning new things that helped me along the way. One of the hardest things about practicing is actually practicing, getting down to it, spending an hour or so from a busy schedule dedicated to practice. I've found that one of the best ways to squeeze and practice around a busy schedule is to do just that, is to fit it around your day and modify your day very, very little so that it doesn't really feel like you're out of sorts. Like many people, I spend an enormous amount of time just sitting at my desk doing mundane stuff. I found that when I was learning the Rubik's Cube, the easiest way for me to actually put in practice was to simply have a Rubik's cube on my desk. Naturally, after 40 or 50 minutes of just looking at the screen, I take a break. I take five or 10 minute break. If the Rubik's Cube was just sitting on my desk, I would find myself just putting in 10 or 15 minutes. This was a way of practicing without sacrificing my free time or giving up my lunch break and working on the Rubik's Cube, I could just squeeze in 15 minutes without really modifying my day at all. Simply by having it on my desk, It seems crazy, but that worked. Sometimes, however, it's just not that simple. Whatever you're learning, you might not be able to do it at your desk or squeeze it in between periods of work. You might need some dedicated time. This was the case with muscle ups. Muscle ups are like pull-ups, but they are an extended version and I needed dedicated time at gym practicing. I really, really struggled with this. When I came back from work, I was knocked out, I was tired, I had no motivation to go out and train so the only way that I found to get in regular quality practice was to squeeze it in on my way to work. I would ride to work about 07:00 AM each day on my bike. I found that if I took a small detour, I can nip to this outdoor gym London and that way I could squeeze in 15 or 20 minutes of a really quick workout and then be on my way to work. It felt like I was really getting something for very little effort being put in. Don't get me wrong, waking up 20 minutes earlier and working out in the morning is not ideal. It's not the most pleasurable thing to do. But overall, I felt that this was the best return on a small investment. The point I'm trying to make here is that I was able to reduce the barriers to practice effectively. If you can do this with your practice, reduce the barriers, the effort you need to actually begin practicing, you'll find yourself practicing a lot more. These little chunks of practice time dotted around your schedule really do add up. Speaking of little chunks of practice time, this leads me on nicely to my second strategy, which is utilizing the Pomodoro Technique. This technique seems almost obvious and super basic, but it's amazing how often I stray and forget about this technique even though I know it's super, super effective. In essence, this technique is about engaging in deliberate practice for around 25 minutes at a time before taking a 3-5 minute break. Most people recommend that you do these Pomodoro cycles. That's 25 minutes and then five-minute break, around four times before you take a much a longer break. It seems reasonable and obvious that you should take breaks, but it's common that people study far longer than is productive. That's essentially just a waste of time. Our brains, just like muscles, get tired and don't perform as well. Most people recommend that you should do around 25 minutes, but I think it depends on what scale you're learning, whether it's physical or whether it's intense mental calculations. But the key here is to use a timer, use some sort of alarm to tell you that the time that you allow it is now up and it is time to take a break. Adhering strictly to the timer that you set will help you avoid unproductive time and that will really quicken up the speed at which you learn a particular skill. Moving on to tip number 3, let's talk about how we actually practice once we've decided we're going to do it. My unusual career choice necessitates that I learned very, very quickly. I've developed these techniques that I call smart practice. In the past, I considered any time spent doing the thing was considered good practice. But as I've honed my technique over a number of different skills learned, I've realized that you can be much more systematic, much more deliberate with your practice, and achieve better results faster. I found that broadly speaking, there are two types of practice; fun and deliberate. Guitar is a really good example for this. When I pick up the guitar, the first thing I want to do is playing. I'll pick up the guitar and instantly play AC/DC or Led Zeppelin, stuff that is easy that I enjoy doing. I could consider that practice. I think this practice is important, although it's not the most beneficial, it is important for your morale. However, I found that practice and skill level can be accelerated hugely if you blend fun time practice with deliberate practice, and by deliberate practice, I mean just that so time spent isolating areas that you're weaker, or working on one specific component of the scale, repetition, very deliberate practice. This is the practice that we know works but isn't so enjoyable to do it. It can be physically painful for something like the guitar, or it can be mundane, or it can be demoralizing. That's why we blend it with fun practice. The point I'm trying to make here is that by blending these two styles of pricing, you can really accelerate your progress whilst maintaining high levels of motivation. Tip number 4, self diagnosis, it's 2019, and we can learn anything, particularly on this website, Skillshare, without the help of a coach. There's lots of resources out there and more people are learning themselves. However, without a coach, it is sometimes difficult to pinpoint what the problem is that you have in your technique. That's where this process of self-diagnosis really comes in. The technique and principal is really simple, but it can sometimes be a little bit difficult to actually perform and It's most likely a discipline problem, it certainly is for me. You have a problem with your technique and you want to solve it. You probably already have a good idea of the three or four things that might be causing this issue. What I often find myself doing is trying to change all three or all four of those things at once. The trick here is isolation. Change one thing in your technique at a time and monitor the results, and give it a good goal as well. Don't just try something once and if it doesn't work, move on. Change one thing, isolate one at a time and see what the results are and systematically go through the things that could be causing problems for you. This is exactly how a coach would tell you to work. They wouldn't say change, let's change this, change this, change this. You change one thing at a time because your brain's already overloaded trying to figure out this new skill,changing 10 things at once is just going to make things worse. For example, muscle ups. I was really struggling with muscle ups, they just weren't happening for me. What I realized was by breaking the scale down, it wasn't actually my strength that was causing the problem, it was my technique. What I did was I started practicing with the bands and I would just do really easy workouts just focused on the technique of muscle ups. This isolated the issue that one very specific movement within the technique, the part where my forearms go over the bar and I just practiced that one part. Then when I put it altogether, I realized that that was the bottleneck, that's what allowed me to move forward. In this lesson, we covered practicing smart, practice in the most efficient way. We talked about squeezing practice into your day without affecting your schedule too much, as well as the Pomodoro Technique, blending fun and deliberate practice, along with self-diagnosis. In the next lesson, we're going to look at frustration and pushing through the dip in the learning curve. I'll see you then. 6. Pushing Through the Dip: Let's talk about frustration. I am not one of those people who remains calm all the time and does not experience frustration, particularly when I'm working with computer, those little grayed out boxes and software, they drive me up the wall. Frustration can make you quit, it's that voice in the back of your head telling you that you're not good enough, that this is going to take far too much time, that you just don't have what it takes to learn this skill. Frustration occurs right in that dip in the learning curve. It's that trough where your motivation is at it's lowest and you're still not reaping the benefits of developing a skill yet, then this is probably the most likely time for you to feel like quitting. However, if we can push through this dip in the learning curve, we can get to the point where we reap the investment that we have got the benefits of the practice that we have placed into this time and really can start enjoying all the time that we've put into learning the skill. That's what this lesson is about, pushing through that dip in the learning curve in order to maximize our return on investment of practice. The first thing that I find useful is to just acknowledge that you are in the dip. This happens, this is always going to happen. There's always going to be a low after the initial burst of excitement of the novelty of learning something new, you are in the dip. This is the worst time for you in your learning progression and it eases my anxiety to know that this is as bad as it's going to get. What we want to do is minimize that time spent in the dip. We have a tolerance for poor results, so we don't want to exceed that. We want to push through as quickly as possible. Here's some strategies. The IUs that quick up the process of moving through the dip. During times of frustration, deliberate, scheduled practice is key. This is when you need to be really regimented, really disciplined, stick it in the diary, get out of bed early, and get on it as quickly as you can. During this period of time you probably don't want to practice, but practices is the only thing that's going to push you through this learning curve. You need to really stick to your guns here and have a bit more disciplined than you would normally have. If we really put into action the practice smart techniques we covered in the previous lesson this will also help quicken up that time. We want to be as efficient with our practice as possible, especially during the dip. In the previous lesson, we talked about fun practice versus deliberate practice, and if we can just move the slider over slightly more towards fun practice just to boost our morale a little bit during this difficult time, that will also help. Using shorter practice sessions so that quitting before their frustration really sets in helps keep my motivation levels and morale high. If it's a physical skill or one that you're using muscles that you haven't used before, then taking a couple of days off can help boost your healing process of those muscles and when you come back, you'll find that you might have actually already pushed through the frustration that you've had. When I was learning how to manual a bike, I was using muscles that I hadn't used before really properly, and I found that I was at a point where I just wasn't getting any farther. There was a fatigue in my legs that meant I couldn't manual the bike any further than I was getting and I was just really stuck and there was this bottleneck in my practice regime. What I did was I just took a couple of days off and I found that when I came back without doing anything at all except resting, I had increased the distance that I can manual. My muscles just needed a little break. I like to think of this as weathering the storm until it is over and during the hard times in anticipation of better times, this really helps me push through this. Another thing I like to do when I'm experiencing frustration is to split the skill up even further into it's component parts. Little successes can be overshadowed by an overwhelming failure in the ability to do something. But if you split it up into component parts, it is easier to see certain successes or progress in certain areas of what you're trying to do. When I was learning to play violin, there was 100 different things going on in my head and they were all going wrong, which made the violin sound like a drummed cut. It sounded terrible. However, when I broke the skill up into component parts and had much more focused practice and for example, just practicing one note, drawing the bow back and forward. I found that I can make progress with my bowing technique, even though my left hand technique was a bit of a mess, and seeing progress was really what pushed me through the dip and the learning curve here. We've covered that the dip is something to be anticipated, something that is definitely going to happen to you no matter what skill you choose to learn. There's going to be a low in the learning and curve, expect it, weather the storm. There's some techniques that you can put into place immediately as soon as you start feeling frustration that can help alleviate the feeling and reduce your likelihood to quit. By being more deliberate and disciplined with our practice as well as employing our smart practices techniques, we can hopefully reduce how much frustration or how much time we spend in the dip. Shorter practice sessions during this time, along with splitting the skill up into it's component parts can also help alleviate symptoms of frustration. Next time you experience that low and you definitely will, anticipate it, try to understand what's going on, try to understand that you are in the middle, not the end of your learning progress, and tried to put in as many of these actionable points into your practice as you can to try and compress that period of frustration down to a minimum. In the next video we're going to talk about something that is much more welcome, now as success. I'll see you there. 7. Success: Setting and Refining Goals: In this lesson, we are going to discuss success and how to achieve it. I think the best way for me to see success is to clearly achieve a goal that I had set earlier. You've probably heard the saying, without a goal, you can't score and I think that is so true. In all my videos where I learn a skill, I try to be as unambiguous as possible when I set my goal so that the mark of success is really clear. Setting goals, however, is not easy. Before you learn a new skill, you will probably start with setting a goal and that's a workflow that I advocate. However, when you know nothing of the skill, sometimes your goal setting can be a little bit off. One time for one of my videos, I set my goal, at learning to buck flip on the grunt. This was way too ambitious for the two weeks I had set aside to film this and after it got a little bit dangerous, I decided to quit. By setting this overly ambitious goal I not only failed to achieving it, but I also overlooked many of the smaller successes I had in my process of learning. For example, I learned how to back flip on a trampoline in less than 10 minutes. That's really good going I never celebrated that result because it was overshadowed by the giant cloud of failure that was learning to back-flip on the ground. At the other end of the scale, goals must have some weight to them in order for you to enjoy your success. No one wants a hollow victory. We have this fine line to tread when setting goals. Not too easy, that it feels worthless, but not so difficult that it is impossible for us to achieve. The answer to this problem is to pivot and refine your goals as you progress. Before you start learning a skill, it's not a surprise that you will know nothing of the difficulties that you encounter as you progress. When you set your goals, you will be a little bit off the mark. So rather than just abandon your goal altogether and aimlessly try to continue, my advice is to shift the goal posts as you progress. Don't be too proud to change and redefine your goals as you learn more of the intricacies of your chosen skill. To further that, don't be afraid to change direction entirely like the time where I changed my career from an aspiring photographer to videographer almost overnight. I felt that the skills I had learned in photography were transferable and there would be more used to me in video works. So that's exactly what I did. Some would see this as a failed photography career, but as I see it as a stepping stone in my film-making career, perhaps if I hadn't been so stubborn when learning to back-flip and set my target at learning to back-flip on the trampoline first and then move into the ground. I would have had more success in my mind and had the motivation to continue this. The aim here is to maximize your enjoyment, not dopamine you get when learning new skills. Stubbornness when setting goals whilst admirable can cause you to see your project overall as a failure, which in turn can cause you to quit. We don't want that. Always have a goal, but as you progress, feel free to redefine and tweak that goal so you can enjoy an achievable success. If you're in the middle of learning something new, perhaps the goal that you set at the start is too easy or perhaps it's impossibly hard. Be flexible with yourself, armed with more knowledge of the task at hand. Set a new more appropriate goal. In this lesson we discussed success and how important setting goals are to achieving it. We discussed how setting appropriate goals before and during your learning process will help you achieve success. In the next lesson we'll summarize the key ideas and takeaway points from this class as a whole. I'll see you then. 8. Closing Thoughts: In this class we've covered a number of different techniques that you can employ to help make your learning process faster, more efficient, more productive. There's probably some of these techniques that resonate with you more so than others. For example, you might not experience frustration so much but find the Pomodoro practice technique really useful. Feel free to jump in and out of the class, again once you start learning depending on where you are in your learning process. Going forward, if you haven't already, why not try learning something new armed with your new learning optimization techniques? There are thousands upon thousands of great classes on Skillshare, so pick one and jump right in. My biggest suggestion, if you haven't already done this, is to write down a clearly defined formal goal and to continue journaling your progress as you learn. This can be in the way of just taking little clips on your cell phone off your progress or taking photographs of your work or even just writing down what works for you and what doesn't. This really, really helps me. There's a template in the project section of this class to help get you started. Wherever you decide to do, good luck with your learning and diverse, and thank you for watching my class. I really hope you found it useful.