Principles of The New Skill Philosophy
What is The New Skill Philosophy?
Do you remember how it felt riding a bike for the first time? Or getting your driver’s license? Maybe you’ve found yourself fluent in a second language. Perhaps you’ve learned to sail, ballroom dance, weld or restore furniture. Recall when you prepared for and nail that job interview or that conference presentation? No matter what it was, you have experienced similar moments of joy. They come from one source: learning a skill. The first decades of our lives are full of those magic moments. Then somewhere down the line, we stop learning new skills. Eventually, we get caught up in existential, midlife, or identity crisis – whether it is accurately labeled or not. It occurs to different degrees, anywhere from your thirties to your sixties, and it can last any amount of time.
The New Skill Philosophy is based on principles that help to hold fast to that the “gumption of youth.” It's pretty straightforward: Learn one new skill every year! But don't let the simplicity of the method fool you. I have successfully applied this philosophy for the past 10 years with incredible results.
This blog aims to exchange ideas, advice, and stories of why, when, and how to apply this simple philosophy.
Enjoy the journey!
What's in it for me?
The New Skill Philosophy may seem like a simple formula. But as Leonardo Da Vinci posited: "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Learning a new skill every year can bring joy to your life - and keep it coming - in many ways:
- It enhances your sense of achievement.
- It provides everyday life motivation.
- It fulfills youth/childhood dreams and desires.
- It caters to life's everchanging needs.
- It improves your professional qualifications.
- It is a de-stressor.
- It fosters life balance.
- It carries you through difficult times.
- It enables you to face your fears.
- It is a source of exhilarating fun.
- It promotes people-skills and networking.
- It boosts your career in unique ways.
- It instills a holistic approach to life by nurturing areas in personal development that might have been neglected.
- It taps into multiple intelligences.
- It leads to unexpected sources of income.
- It keeps you young.
- It develops the inside-out kind of confidence that spills over to all other areas of your life.
- Ultimately, learning a new skill is an everlasting source of empowerment.
What's in a year?
The fact is: you can learn a new skill in any given frame of time. You can also learn any number of new skills in a 12-month period. So why do I propose ONE NEW SKILL EVERY YEAR? For three reasons: motivation, reflection, and excellence.
- MOTIVATION: The beginning of a new year is a very special time in many cultures, especially ours. We seem to collectively re-energize and renew our motivation for personal development. It makes it easier to set new goals. It is at this time that we are most prone to look forward to our near future with dreams and plans anew.
- REFLECTION: The end of each year is a prime time for pondering about our lives. If luck will have it, we are surrounded by friends and family. If not, we are thinking of them in profound nostalgia. That atmosphere is full of opportunities to look back to our past and re-evaluate our priorities.
- One year is an optimum amount of time for learning. It is enough time to learn the basics of most skills out there. Then you can move on to higher levels of mastery, if you want to. But, some skills can be mastered in less than a year, allowing us to take a break, focus on other priorities, or even move on to a second new skill that same year. The point is: one year is a realistic amount of time to attain visible results as you work on your new skill at a healthy pace, without disrupting your life.
Ultimately, however, you build YOUR path. So, learn one or more skill. Extend that endeavor to more than a year. Whatever keeps your heart pumping! But DO take the challenge to continuously learn new skills. The outcomes are amazing!