3 new skills I learnt in 2022

“Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success” Scott Adams

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My friend introduced me to the idea of ‘skills hour’ where every evening he would work on a set skill for an hour. This may be playing guitar chords, learning to paint, or anything. For him, he wouldn’t move to a new skill until he felt adequately that he had mastered or remembered the first skill.

This to me was an amazing concept. There was countless life-skills I wanted to get better at. However at the time I already had jam-packed evenings with work-outs, study and a second job. So I decided to take a different approach; when I had a morning or afternoon off with about a 4 hour window of time; I would try and cram a new skill into that window.

I found it very important to remove distractions during the time I wanted to learn each skill.

Learning a new skill for life in just one afternoon is incredibly rewarding. It is very satisfying to have a quantifiable achievement after just a few hours, and a new skill for life.

What did I learn?

1. How to Juggle

The first task I set my eyes on was learning to juggle. Nothing fancy, just being able to co-ordinate juggling 3 balls at once. This skill actually took me 7 hours to master. I was a slow learner and tried to ‘brute’ my way into this skill, but juggling is about timing and finesse. I went to my local park with 3 balls I bought from the dollar store and set to work.

Here is my advice:

  • Find balls that are not too-big. Otherwise you will struggle to roll and throw them properly in your hands
  • Find a tutor. For me it was watching YouTube tutorials on juggling which greatly helped. These people are sharing year’s worth of advice which saves you thousands of attempts at working all these simple tricks out.
  • Remove distractions. Set aside the time to learn this skill and nothing else. Do not try multi-task or answer emails or respond on social media.
  • Repetition is key

2. How to shoot a bow

I had always wanted to learn how to accurately shoot a bow, not just pull the string and release. For that reason, I set my goal with shooting a bow as being able to shoot 2 bullseyes in a row consistently with each flight of 6 arrows. Once I would get 2 bullseyes in a row with each flight of arrows I began to feel confident that I had progressed.

Here is my advice:

  • Stand side on with your feet at 90 degrees
  • Pull the bow back with three fingers
  • Keep the arrow fletch facing in the right direction (this often means the odd coloured feather is facing ‘up’)
  • Line up your nose with the arrow
  • Stare straight down at the bullseye
  • Stay firm when you release and don’t ‘drop’ the bow or let it stoop or swing immediately after you release the arrow
  • Control your breathing as this will effect the rise-and-fall of your aim. Try and release on a slow exhale.
  • Find a tutor who can watch your technique or guide you through these steps.
  • Remove distractions. Set aside the time to learn this skill and nothing else. Do not try multi-task or answer emails or respond on social media.
  • Repetition is key

3. How to sign the Alphabet of AUSLAN (Australian Sign Language)

AUSLAN is the name given to Australian Sign Language and it is very similar to New Zealand sign language. Most people don’t actually realise that sign language is not the same around the world. The US and the UK have variations in words and hand gestures in their languages which we in Australia do not use. On the television when there is an important news announcement in Australia for example; updates on weather events like floods, fires or cyclones; there is someone showing AUSLAN on the TV to help deaf people understand what is going on. I thought this was an amazing tool to assist deaf people and I thought that as an Australian it would be prudent for me to at least attempt to learn some AUSLAN to try and communicate better with deaf people.

Here is my advice:

  • Watch tutorials on Youtube on how to correctly move your fingers and hands
  • Start first by learning the Alphabet before you learn words
  • Try and ‘quiz’ yourself. EG don’t just always run through the Alphabet from A-Z, try and randomly do the gesture for R or X or K to make sure you retain the letters and not just the motions of the Alphabet
  • Remove distractions. Set aside the time to learn this skill and nothing else. Do not try multi-task or answer emails or respond on social media.
  • Repetition is key

I strongly encourage anyone looking to learn new life skills to set yourself a goal. Write down a list of skills you would like to achieve and when you have free time on your calendar try and slot it in. Most people I know have always had ‘an itch’ they wanted to scratch like learning to ride a skateboard, playing the guitar, rollerblading, throwing a frisbee, hitting a golf ball, whistling, playing an instrument or countless other pursuits.

Its all up to you.

I hope this blog helped just one person.

A great Youtuber who achieves learning new skills Mike Shake:


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These blogs are aimed at helping readers through their personal development journey by expanding their comfort zones and positively improve quality of life through a growth mindset. Blog topics may include travel and adventure, mindset and mentality, or physical development.