First 20 Hours

The First 20 Hours

The First 20 Hours

I picked up this book after hearing about it on a podcast. The author, Josh Kaufman, preaches that you can learn anything in 20 hours or less. You won’t be an expert, but you’ll get past the steep part of the learning curve and be good enough.

Well, good enough is good enough for me, so I’m going to give it a try. I have a list of more than 25 skills I want to acquire, and that’s just off the top of my head. I’m sure I could triple that list without even trying. That’s a lot of things to learn, even at only 20 hours each, so what to do?

I decided to start with one a month, every two months, so I narrowed down the list to six things I want to learn in the first twelve months. This is my list…

  • Piano – learn to play all major and minor chords and be able to sight read the treble clef so that I can play any song out of a Fake book.
  • Drawing – I want to be able to draw from photos and do some cartooning. (I may need to refine this one a bit. Maybe it’s not possible to learn both at once.)
  • German – learn at least 200 vocabulary words and be able to ask and answer simple questions like “How are you?” “Where are you going?” “Where are you from?” etc.
  • Guitar – learn to play the most popular chords and strum on the beat.
  • Painting – learn multiple wash techniques, brush strokes and fine detail.
  • Writing – focus on plotting techniques, outlining and description.

I am starting with piano because I’m already halfway there, and I want to be able to play Christmas carols for the family this year. Also, I thought it would be an easy win to propel me forward. Drawing, on the other hand, is something I’m really not good at, so it’ll be a much bigger challenge. The same is true for guitar, since I’ve never even tried to play one, even though I’ve owned mine for at least 18 months. I just find it really intimidating.

I will try to keep you informed about my progress. It may mean a little less time for my crafting, but it will be worth it as I learn a wider branch of skills.

Wish me luck, and think about giving it a try. It can’t hurt, right?

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