A How-To Guide: Accelerated Learning for Accelerated Times

[Editor’s note: The video referred to in this article is no longer available for embed. To view it, please search “Tim Ferriss full keynote The Next Web 2013 TNW2013 Conference Amsterdam” on YouTube.]

The above video is a short presentation I gave at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam.

It covers a basic framework for mastering any skill quickly, including languages, music, dance, and more.

What skill have you put off learning for longest… and why? Let me know in the comments. Perhaps I (or other readers) can help. Second, if you could learn one skill in the next six months, what would it be?


Important afterword:

NOTE — For my competition launched last week (not too late to join), roundtrip airfare is covered for all four winners.

Related content:

The 4-Hour Chef and Meta-Learning — 200+ pages on all I know about accelerated learning

Total Immersion: How I Learned to Swim Effortlessly in 10 Days and You Can Too

Scientific Speed Reading: How to Read 300% Faster in 20 Minutes

How I Deconstruct Languages (scroll through the list)

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

Leave a Reply

Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration.)

437 Replies to “A How-To Guide: Accelerated Learning for Accelerated Times”

  1. I am currently trying to learn to ride a skateboard.

    Not as wasy as it looks!

    Most online guidance suggests that i should be popping ollies within a couple of days but just getting smooth and stopping and starting are difficult to master.

  2. Gotta remain a skeptic on this until I see Tim Ferriss + Accelerated Learning Perfect Golf Swing. If there was ever a skill that takes years/decades to perfect that could be deconstructed, I’d think that would be it.

    1. Put electrodes on Tiger Woods. Record his muscle impulses while he’s doing golf swings. Put electrodes on you. Play back the recorded muscle impulses. Done.

  3. I would like to learn how to trade the stock market. It doesn’t seem to be a traditional skill – not particularly logical or linear. Do you think you can deconstruct the skill set of successful traders?

    1. I am not sure about this Rick as even with honed technical and fundamental assessing there is still other elements out of your hands leaving too much to chance? not sure what tim would say but I think I remember hearing him warn against it in one of his talks…

      1. Hey y I can’t get my avatar up.

        Nobody can control luck, but preparation increases your distance between it. Nobody can tell you the direction of the market at any given time there is only probabilities (if there is run don’t wait, most likely scam) but you can make preparation if the market does otherwise.

        Tim Ferris made alot of experiment with food, drugs and exercise and delete those that don’t work and retain those that work or refine those that give the desire result. He never say don’t do.

        But you still need to take action and elimiate those that doesn’t give you desire result. Most new traders never and will not keep records. Tim Ferris does that is why he has so many content.

        If you don’t keep records how do you find those trades that profit and those that don’t? Use your memory? Pls, we know how long we can retain + emotions.


        David A.

    2. Rick, as far as I am aware you really can’t apply the 80/20 rule to the markets. Its just too crazy! That being said you can still do well in the market. First you need to learn on how to read charts and candle stick formations read Steve Nision’s book on candle stick formations this will give you a great base into understanding market psychology (there are e-books and video courses available online by Steve Nision). Next learn about technical indicators. Check out this website (http://forex-indicators.net/) though its forex it will help you understand what kind of indicators to use and what they mean. Next open an account with Investopedia (assuming your from the US) and select a few companies and paper trade them for at least three months. Also check out (http://www.swing-trade-stocks.com/) will give you great understanding of how to swing trade which is by far one of the most profitable ways to make money. Let me know if you need more information.


      1. Can I get my avatar now???

        again, market only trend 20% of the time and yet trend following traders make 80% of their capital through trend following. So it is politically incorrect to say there is no 80/20 rule.

        Second as I’ve mention most traders don’t keep records. If they don’t keep records how da hell can they refer which or when are they capable of amassing profits and when or why are they losing. The new ones especially will not keep records.

        And that is why I took 7 years to be profitable because I was stubborn and didn’t keep records which I could reduce to 1/2 or maybe 1/3.

        Indicators or candlestick pattern or price action, they don’t matter. The important thing is note which 20% of those gives you 80% of price movement. Most new traders react only when market starts jumping up and down but we all know where that ends.

        The Professional place their trades when the market is quiet. Don’t chase movement, anticipate them and react if they do otherwise.


        David A.

        ps I took 7 years if I knew Tim Ferris and his unorthodox way of hacking life, everything could change. Damn!

    3. Have you read through Van Tharp interview with Traders in his Market Wizards series? 20% of effort generate 80% of revenue. We are looking at tiny movement that generate 80% of trend. So Di starts with deconstruction, maybe you should see those big long candlestick or trend how are they started?

      Selection, select 20% of pattern that generates 80% of those big long candlestick or trend.

      Sequencing, which is better, trade big lots or big stops or small lots with small stops or higher timeframe or lower timeframe?

      Stakes/Cafe..etc not sure but I know read more from Van Tharp interview with Market Wizard and you will have your answers.

      Remember mentors? Or those great one who have done it? Now they reveal in their interviews or Biography. It is a small wonder what wiki can give you.


      David A.

  4. Tim,

    I love the things you’re teaching. I’m actually learning to dance salsa and have toyed with the idea of learning the follower’s role.

    However, the question I have pertains to applying the 80/20 rule to acrylic painting. I actually posed the question on how I could become a masterful painter and what I would need to a painting instructor I have learned from for the past 3.5 years. She’s still pondering the question. Any insights or thoughts about this? She did say she thought color theory but that’s a pretty broad area.

    1. Hey Joe High,

      I’m interested in becoming a better artist (drawer and painter). One tip my art instructor told me was to create a Munsell color scale exercise. This will help with value, and mixing of colors. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to do a Munsell exercise.

  5. How to create mp3 recording/podcast. Bought an amazing microphone but I never was able to fill in the rest of the blanks.

  6. How about drawing and digital painting? I always loved concept art for games, artists’ ideas for characters and locations. It’s been years since I drew anything. I don’t even know the basics.

  7. Is building a profitable muse (business) a skill? If the answer is yes, what’s the best approach to become world-class in this skill within 6 months?

    : )

  8. I would like to master (in some degree) developing solutions for Microsoft Dynamics NAV. I got at nice job on the hand, but it requires these skills.

  9. Great post on core solution for most of our problems!! I think Otaku Camera app is a good way to jump into this space and most popular among the kids to use their own mangas. Duolingois also my favourite as it helps in rapid learning of languages since the lessons are broken into small sessions and learners gain points to level up through various categories.

  10. Could this be applied to something like Self Esteem or Self confidence?

    If so, how would you suggest getting started?

    1. DSSS may be applied as well. When people talk about confidence they often mean performance confidence. The kind of confidence that comes with doing something well. The reason we do most things well is because we do them often (e.g tying our shoelaces). Trying doing something that you are good at in an unfamiliar place or at an usual time. Also, LEAN not jump out of your present comfort zone. [Moderator: Link removed.]

  11. Hi Mr. Ferriss! I’ve wanted to learn how to play Go. I bought a board and stones, and as per recommendations I started studying tsumego but something always seems to come up to distract me. If I could learn something in the next six months, it would be that.

    1. I’m also learning go. Benjamin Teuber, german go-player, recommends the following:

      1. tsumego

      2. play lots of games

      3. tsumego

      4. read some books

      5. tsumego

      I still haven’t figured out how this ties in with DiSSS, though.

  12. Here are a few things I want to master but have put off:


    French and Spanish

    Standup comedy.

    My diet and workout routine.


    If I could learn and master just one, I’d say it would be boxing. But that’s a tough choice.

  13. Using a chainsaw. Turning it on and cutting something is not complex. I just can’t get past the fear of cutting something unintended!

    1. I can help with this one. Always treat your chainsaw like it’s trying to kill you. Most accidents happen when people get too comfortable and relaxed. Also, start by renting a small 12 to 14 inch blade model then work your way up to a size that you want to purchase.

      1. Thanks. I’ll try renting a smaller saw than the one I currently have available. Thinking that the saw is out to kill me comes naturally!

  14. To be able to speak eloquently, like this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSQQK2Vuf9Q

    No “uhs” or “ums’ or “thingys” and ESPECIALLY not using the word “like” out of context.

    I am much better on paper than in person, even though I am a gregarious extrovert. When I write I have time to formulate my thoughts. In person, I roll my eyes upward, I’ve been told, when I’m thinking and formulating what I need to say. After it being pointed out, I notice I do this quite often.

    Anyone have tips? I was thinking about learning Shakespeare or dialogue to some other play and performing it in my bathroom mirror.

    1. A trick that worked for a student I had in high school was to listen to the BBC news and mimic the statements made by broadcasters. After enough mimicry, the student was able to formulate crisp, clear, statements on her own. She also practiced presentations in front of friends to get feedback on facial expressions, posture, hand position, and so forth. (Videotape would work as well, if you don’t have friends handy.)

      1. Thanks Susan! That’s definitely something to keep in mind, especially the video taping of yourself. I can use my Droid for that 🙂 Maybe I will develop a British accent as well. 😉

  15. I’ve been wanting to learn how to find funding for for-profit and non-profits start-ups. I’m no expert on the other aspects of entrepreneurship either, but I at least feel a little comfortable doing other tasks, such as market research. The actively seeking and evaluating funding sources is something I’ve always procrastinated and that has seemed hugely challenging.

    Additional skill I’m interested in learning is how to draw inforgraphics- by hand and on computer.

    Thanks for any tips and recommendations!

  16. Mathematical Topology and research level mathematics in general.

    Or more broadly, how to conduct high quality research.

  17. Didn’t realize how core my athletic ability, muscle memory and spacial awareness were to success in my sport/hobby which is dog agility. I was putting improving those off. These are the skills that I’m focusing on in the next six months. They’re key to holding up my side of a competitive dog/handler team.

    Appreciated the 4HC approach to learning, I’ve been enjoying applying it to the vast number of information sources in the sport. Also loving the book suggestions in the comments!

  18. I would love to learn more Tagalog. My husband is from the Philippines, I would want to learn more. I started to learn, but got frustrated. I look forward to try some of your techniques. Thank you for sharing.

  19. Speaking my second language: English. I understand it perfectly and can write in it somewhat okay (I think), but I suck horribly at speaking it. Unlike all English teachers I’ve ever had, I don’t think it’s beneficial to get stuck on pronouncing every single word perfectly.

    To do the complete opposite of the way I was taught, I plan to listen and recite poems while driving alone. That way I don’t have any social pressure and can work from high quality material (like The Raven) instead of inane basic sentences.

  20. 1) The skill of standardized test taking and preparation! I want to nail the MCAT or learn how to deconstruct any standardized test and then perform in the top 10% of all the students in the country by studying the least amount possible.

    2) If I could just walk onto any dance floor and feel good dancing or be seen as a good dancer that would be the biggest load off my shoulders because I do not have a rhythmic bone in my body (or maybe I have not yet seen the light).

  21. Playing music, specifically drums & percussion, is what I have put off learning the longest. It is because I am too non-committal. I also move around a lot, so I don’t want to travel with congas. But, when I was well situated in Maui I had good conga player friends I could have paid to teach me. I had the money and a place to keep them. So, it was a matter of focus, intention, and commitment, or the lack thereof. There are lots of things that are important to me to learn — Portuguese & Italian languages, seduction/persuasion, and computer coding, among others. I let lack of money be an excuse. So, I’m currently most focused on making enough money to live the 4 Hour Work Week, and have time to travel and pursue my passions. Lack of money is always the underlying reason/excuse for not living exactly the way I imagine I want to live. This causes me much frustration. So, learning to make money independently, and about money, are my next pursuits (even before congas even though they interest me more). Now, I’m off to read The Intelligent Investor…

  22. I’ve been putting off Rock Climbing: fear of failure an fear of falling.

    how could i deconstruct that?

  23. 1. Putting off: playing the piano

    2. Next 6 months focus: The piano!

    ive just bought a course named piano for all, it seems noce.

    I also have been interested in reading about sex, it

    is like breathing, we all think that we re very good at it, however there is alwayssomething interesting to learn.

  24. Truly fascinating! Continual learning is a key to really enjoying life to the fullest and you Tim are a great example. Your posts are real brain-food for me! Thanks!!!

  25. How to create and run a successful blog without working on it more than 10 hours per week.

    The second would be to learn Haitian Creole

    1. Haitian Creole is about as easy as a language can be.

      The verbs work like this: the verb on it’s own is the present tense, with ‘ap’ in front is the continuous tense, with ‘te’ in front is the past tense, with ‘pral’ in front is the future tense, with ‘ta’ in front is the condition tense. Congratulations! You just learned the entire verb-strucutre of Haitian Creole!

      You just need to learn vocabulary. If you know French, you already know Kreyol vocabulary. There’s a Pimsleur program that can take care of that.

      Download Anki. Create a Kreyol deck and study it 5 minutes a day. Whenever you come across something you don’t know, ask someone and add it to the Anki deck, or else look it up on Google Translate (which now supports Kreyol), and import the google translation into Anki using this method: http://blog.mnemotechnics.org/vocabulary-flashcards-google-translate-anki-4561.html

      The only tricky thing is listening comprehension, because a lot of contractions are used. I don’t have any particular advice here; just make sure when you learn a word, you learn the possible contraxions too. And converse a lot.

      1. The apple is red. Pòm rouj. (Or ‘pòm wouj’; r and w are interchangeable. Literally ‘apple red’; there verb to be is only used when you’re saying “noun A is noun B”, like the next sentence.)

        It is John’s apple. Li se pòm John. (“It is apple John”. The possessive is formed just by putting the owner after the possession.)

        I give John the apple. Mwen bay John pòm nan. (“I give John apple the”)

        We give him the apple Nou bay li pòm nan. (“We give him apple the”)

        He gives it to John Li bay li John. (No need for a preposition.)

        She gives it to him Li bay li li. (He, him, it, she, her are all “li”. Unlike English or French, there is no distinction between “I” and “me”, between “he” and “him” etc.)

        Is the apple red? Èske pòm wouj? (“Èske” is like the French “est-ce que”; it forms questions.)

        The apples are red. Pòm wouj. (There is no plural in Kreyòl. You could say “pòm yo wouj” to emphasize the plurality. “Yo” means “they” or “them”. Them apples are red.)

        I must give it to him. Mwen dwe bay li li. (“I must give it him.”)

        I want to give it to her Mwen vle bay li li.

        I’m going to know tomorrow M’ap konnen demen. (“M’ap” is a contraxion of “mwen ap”, where “mwen” is “I” and “ap” indicates the continuous present/immediate future tense, a bit like the English “ing”.)

        I can’t eat the apple. Mwen pa kapab manje pòm. (“I not can eat apple”. Negate any verb by just putting “pa” in front of it. If there’s a tense-marker like “ap”, “pa” goes in front of the tense-marker.)

        I have eaten the apple Mwen te manje pòm. (There’s no present perfect tense; just use the plain old past tense, which is always formed by putting “te” before the verb – no exceptions.)

  26. 1. Coding

    2. I’m not sure if this will qualify as a skill- I’m a new parent with a bad case of sleep deprivation/ interrupted sleep . I would like to learn –

    – how to take power naps

    – how to get back to deep / restful sleep after being woken up 2-3 times in the middle of the night.

    Any help / tips / resources will be greatly appreciated.


    A quick question for you – have you tried any experiments with sleep cycles?

    Thanks in advance

  27. I want to learn to play the piano…old standard songs,etc……any ideas on shortening the process?

  28. I bought a beautiful digeridoo about 10 years ago and I want to learn circular breathing. What stops me is I grew up as an asthmatic child and young adult so I have issues around breathing.

  29. Great presentation Tim. I’ve really enjoyed getting to hear some of your speaking sessions as of late. I had incorrectly assumed that you might have an arrogance problem but nothing could be farther from the truth. You speak and write in a genuine since that I think your readers pick up on. It is very informative yet gentle at the same time. Keep up the good work.

  30. Can Tim Ferriss or anyone else tell me about the methodology or process of Simplifying things? What do you know that’s this part is bullshit and cut way

    Because I always consider things that re still important, still need to use and very hard to delete.

    When I decide to cut it, I think about how danger It might be if I lose this and this and this…?

    So Tim, what’s in your brain when you see things still need to be more simple is very important and I know people would love to know that too

    thank you very much

  31. I’d like to learn how to write better. Something I always have had a hard time with it organizing ideas on paper.

  32. Had a thought. If I could learn anything in 6 months I would want to learn beat boxing (did I spell that right?)

    That would be a great skill to add to my arsenal, and obviously, the music arts. (Yes, I consider beat boxing a part of the music arts)

    Now….how to hack that skill set???

    1. As far as I know Skiller is the current best beatboxer and he has Beatbox tutorials. You can search for other beat boxer tutorials too.

      Also I would suggest to exercise aerobic exercises so you will have better lung capacity. Running is a good aerobic sport.

      1. Hey now Petar!

        Lung capacity? I never would of thought.

        Thanks for the tip and I will definitely be checking out these tutorials this weekend.

        Running…and a bib to collect all the spit. HA!

        This is going to be fun. 😀

  33. “What skill have you put off learning for longest… and why? Let me know in the comments. Perhaps I (or other readers) can help. Second, if you could learn one skill in the next six months, what would it be?”

    Same answer to both these questions: I’d love to learn “the game”, in the Neil Strauss sense. Tim Ferriss has hinted at it before in his writings (don’t think he’s ever mentioned it explicitly).

    I learned some of it a few years back, had loads of fun, and gained some ability – practicing made me freakishly socially intuitive – but I never really got to the stage of mastery. I now feel that I tried and failed. Trying again would seem like I’m in denial of that.

  34. I don’t know if you have heard of Theory of Mind, but this is when we think about other people’s thoughts and plans. ToM is applied to strategic planning and we as humans have always wanted to know what other people are thinking and feeling. For example, we try interpret other people’s body language and thus have more information on their emotional state. My question is: How can a person become a world class understander and predictor of other people’s thoughts, feelings and plans?

  35. Ok I started this diet 2 weeks ago. I weighed in at 170. and my body fat was at 15% Here was my normal diet before I committed to the diet. oatmeal with protein shake after I wake up. Snack at 10am with fruit. Lunch of whatever. Snack on fruit at 2-3. Work out at 5-7. Eat stir fry mostly at 730. Sleep at around midnight. Weekends eat whatever and drink.

    Since I’ve been on the diet I’ve only lost 1 pound and no body fat.

    Wake up: eggs, different protein like chick or turkey, black beans

    Lunch at around 12: lunch with eggs, lettuce, balsamic vinegar dressing, chick, tomatoes

    3pm: shake with half Muscle milk light and EAS protein shake with glutamine powder

    Work out from 5-7

    Dinner at 730: stir fry with Veges and meat and black beans

    And I drink at least 64 oz of water each day

    Saturday is my cheat day and I’ve eaten all day with my stomach hurting all day!!

    I am pretty disappointed with only losing 1 lb in 2 weeks. What could be the problem. I haven’t touched any supplements. My friends haven’t touched the supplements and have lost a lot of weight. What is my problem!? Thanks for your help!!!

  36. I would like to hear from someone who has hacked “actuarial exams.” There

    is a lot of material covered in the exams and I am hoping there is a quick way

    to learn it.


  37. I need to watch this video again in order to internalize Tim’s ideas. I’m always awed by Tim and the way he thinks.

    I have a few skills I need to focus on and hopefully could master them with the help of DiSSS.

  38. I’d really like to learn how to do the splits at 27 years old. Tim, did you ever look into this as you were researching for the 4HB?

    1. This is very achievable. Do two things –

      1) Do a session of PNF stretching every other day.

      2) Do as much passive stretching as possible. Read, watch movies, etc. in a passive stretching position.

      The best book about increasing flexibility is ‘Stretching Scientifically’ by Kurz. The best website is this: http://www.trickstutorials.com/content/flexibility

  39. Several people did ask about how to learn the guitar. I am not proficient but these points did help me.

    Tune the guitar always as this will give you direct feedback if you play correctly. Also buy from time to time new strings.

    I think Tim did mention that the material is better than the method. A good training book can give you good excercies or training songs allowing you to learn the different techniques one by one. (Hammer on, pull off, tapping, use of right and left hand, slides, bar chords)

    If you search for new songs learn songs which train one technique all the time. Also beginn with easy songs (children songs or some classic songs, if you need to think to long about how to play, you wont play and so learn nothing)

    Learn in the long run. 30 Minutes per day are better than three hours in the weekend.

  40. Brilliant! Thank you so much for sharing this. Every time I get so inspired, I love that it is a formula for everything not just one thing. It’s just genius. And I love all the references, very helpful.

  41. > if you could learn one skill in the next six months, what would it be?

    the ability to answer the question: “what do i really want in this life?”

  42. I found your video very inspriring. Really when you spell it out seems like such good common sense to break challenges down into easy to learn snippets that you can put together to get the final, polished result.

    Love the idea of consequences for not completing a challenge that someone else has control over.

    Why didn’t I think of this before? I would like to try and apply this way of thinking to my costume shop business to improve the areas that I still need to take control of in a more productive way. My attitude has been that if I’m not an expert then I won’t do it. Now I see that I can become an expert if I break it down to get manageable results in small steps and not be complacent. Look forward to more insights

  43. Hi Tim

    My fiancee is japanese. Every morning a study a grammar book during 15 minutes.

    Of course, as a result, I know some grammar but I don’t understand very well. I have the feeling that I can’t progress.

    As you give advice for learning and since you speak japanese, do you have some advice ?

    Thanks a lot

    Arnaud (France)

  44. I was at that TNW event in Amsterdam and for those who never met Tim, he stayed during 4h (really 240min) for Q&A answering hundreds of questions with infinite patience with everybody, and thus even missed his dinner with other speakers.

    Met him again few days ago in Toronto, and it’s almost strange how he remembers every face and name of hundreds/thousand people he talks to


    Thanks for kindness and always being approachable by all.

    Best aspect of watching Tim is inspiring to push our own bars higher and higher.

    What a leverage if in a society, learning becomes more exciting than pure “possessing”.

    I’m still amazed how smart and deep Tim chooses his leverages to act positively for agriculture or importance of learning.

    That puts the bar high as type of 80/20 analysis of how 1 single person can be useful for cultural changes.

    Inspiring, inspiring… 😉

  45. I’m not a good linguist & have started to learn Portuguese (Brazil beckons!!), so very interested in this – great way to try it out! – thanks Tim

  46. I had been there in many classes but just wasnt able to follow up with the things taught. However, i guess its fun to be involved in comics stuff but again not sure, if i would be able to do it the proper way.

  47. I would love to learn spanish ,as I’m leaving for vacation in two weeks and want to be fluent as possible.

    I have learned numerous verbs already because of my 10 year experience with spanish class and spanish women. My downfall is actually putting a sentence together that is correct (the smaller words such as de, que, se, tuyo). I’ve tried duolingo but it’s not concentrated around the areas that I want. (also I would love to learn japanese)

  48. I want to learn how to draw. I’m a copywriter and it’s difficult to express my ideas with stick figures.

    I’ve tried getting books on drawing but they’re not that helpful and tend to skip a lot of steps. Usually the guides go:

    1-Look at something and start drawing it

    2–fill in some shading

    3-There, you just drew the Mona Lisa

    I also feel like I have to train my brain to figure these things out. I can look at something and picture it in my head but just can’t grasp how to recreate it by hand.

    1. Hey I have some advice that might help if you check and or buy Betty Edwards book Drawing on the Right side of the brain. Or YouTube her course the whole thing is on YouTube.

      Read the part about how the brain works when someone draws and why it’s difficult for some people. The science of drawing basically, it’s a short chapter put very important.

      Then skip around and do the exercises.

      Try to do a exercise away for a week and by the end of the week you will be surprised how fast your skill level increased.

      Hope that helps,


  49. Great talk,Tim!

    The timing is perfect for me, since I’m organizing non-profit IT summer classes for the Tsunami-hit region in Japan.

    I will definitely apply these approaches to my classes!

    I’m also using many techniques from 4hww and trying to make this project bigger.

    (If you are interested, please click my name link above to check out my crowd funding page.

    It would be awesome if you mention this project on this blog of course…)

    Thank you!

    P.S. I’m the one who translated your TED speech into Japanese 🙂 ted.com/talks/lang/ja/tim_ferriss_smash_fear_learn_anything.html

  50. I’ve put off learning a martial art for entirely too long. Me and a buddy from the Army started practicing Muay Thai together just one on one, but I don’t know, we just kinda fell off.

    If I could learn any skill in the next 6 months…Hmmm, I’d probably learn how to program my own video games. Better yet, I’d learn how to effectively start and run a business, but that’s really more of a chunk of skills.

  51. Hi,

    I’ve had an idea for a product in which I don’t know a great deal about.

    How do I go about about finding whether it’s actually functional and do-able so I know i’m not wasting my time?

    1. Jake, look at USPTO database of more than 50 millions patents.

      Watching close patents there will at least stimulate too, to precise/reoriente your current idea.

  52. More like a variation of Buridan’s Ass– no reason to choose one over the other, only in the Ass’s case it was going to

    starve if it didn’t just pick one for the hell of it. Here, it’s more like, either way you go, you’ll still have a

    steaming pile of manure. In this instance, unless you’re growing your own garden (in a sense), you’re “shit” outta

    luck whichever way you go. And you’ll have hell to pay.

  53. There have been a lot of things I’ve wanted to learn, and many I’ve actually tackled, just by making a commitment to myself, and in some cases, doing things with other people too. I get quite stuck in, whether it’s photography, or shooting, or training young horses, I seem to get the bug and cannot stop…

    However the one thing I’ve really found hard to stick to, is French – always wanted to learn it, tried and tried so many times, since I was about 13 – from tutors, to watching french films, and buying other learning material… nothing worked. However hearing one of your interviews, and now having just got The 4 Hour Chef, I’ve already drastically improved my french, and this time it feels completely different – thanks Tim. 🙂

  54. Poker. Poker literature is notoriously ridiculous. Beyond the very basic rules and principles, the idea of learning from a book is ridiculed at every poker table. they say Richard Nixon asked everyone in the Army/Navy that he played with how they got to play poker well. that’s the approach I would like to see.

  55. I never learned how to swim, although I live in a place where it is almost completely surrounded by water. I think you wrote about learning to swim from your second book but it is still very scary to put my head in the water.

    Hey Tim, will you ever come visit Korea? You can a few fans over here too.

  56. Ruby on Rails

    I don’t have a web development background but there are lots of things I want to build and have to rely on someone else to turn a vision into a reality. I would like to be able to hack together at least a working version and only hire somebody to “make it pretty.”

  57. My wife would like to upgrade her Accounting career by taking one of the many certifications. Any advice on an 80/20 approach or just some darn good material for CFA, CPA, or CFP?

  58. Hi all,

    Have been putting off writing for years – have some ideas bouncing around in my head, but can’t seem to sit down and grind them out.

    Any tips?

  59. I really enjoyed the speech you gave on this topics. I am wondering if there is a book in the future that deals with this topic only.

    I think some people confuse shortcuts with efficiency.

    I think learning and learning fast and efficiently is a skill that we are not taught in school. I think society as a whole would benefit from people that are better learners.

  60. Tim,

    In the 4 Hour Body you said that it is possible for men to have multiple orgasms without ejaculation, and later you said that in order to do that, you recommended breathing and better positioning.

    Well, I couldn’t find anything about it.

    So, if you can Tim, please, explain in more detail.


    1. When men experience orgasm, our organ n prostate went stiff then comes ejaculation. The fact that men don’t know or never experience multiple orgasm is real hence when we are told that we can have multiple orgasm we assume we can retain our stiff and ejaculate.

      Wrong! The time between the stiffness and before ejaculation, that is orgasm. At least it is for me.

      I’ve learn multiple orgasm from the taoist book from amazon and another from a lady name Kelly. Reaching orgasm is possible but preventing ejaculation needs practise. As we only train the muscle in the organ especially the prostate when we pee or stop peeing. We hardly visit that muscle.

      Hence to compress and prevent our organ from ejaculating, we need to train it and that means compressing it multiple times or within a duration before release. This makes it stronger or at least create endurance.

      I use to compress my prostate muscle 100x a day or 10s each. When we have sex, I squeezed my prostate muscle from the stiffness until the ejaculation phase stopping all action. I still get my erection.

      The hardest part is knowing when you will reach and when to continue. Squeezed to late, you give in to pleasure. Squeezed in to early you exhaust yourself. Squeezed too long without action, you get deflated.

      Yes come to think of it. Mr Ferris you never elaborate. But I know you need to get your sperm count raise. Big testes tends to have more endurance on the erection and stiffness. So eat nuts away.

  61. There are a lot of things I’d like to learn but my problem, more than anything, is learning how to deconstruct a given skill. How do you successfully determine what aspects to choose as the most important? Should I attempt to contact an industry leader and ask them for the essential parts of any skill (but even they may not really be aware of why they are successful)?

    A lot of people here are recommending books but I don’t think that really meets the spirit of the 80/20 rule since a lot of books and courses try to teach you everything, not just the 20% we’re after.

    I guess my question is: How does one identify the “20%” of any subject?

  62. I would like to learn how to trade for a living. I’ve dabbled in trading, but haven’t been terribly successful at it. Would like to trade Forex and/or binary options.

    1. I have been trading for 7 years, wasted 6 years on indicators, gurus n online course. Only last year profitable because I trade price pattern n their behavior. If u take away everything from the chart but only have the candlestick or bar chart n pick a pattern that price behavior r reacts that appears only on a 4hr chart.

      Because you only check trade every 4hrs you r free to run your research across all pairs including exotic n crosses. This way u will not be stressful with fast moving price n opportunities will present itself to you as u r free to watch as many pairs you like.

      Patterns + opportunities – news release = high profits.

      Ignore money management but nvr ignore stoploss.

      1. David,

        Thanks. I’ve been reading a book called _Trading Naked_ where author talks about only using candlestick pattern recognition and not using any indicators on the charts.

        Yah, I’ve learned my lesson on stoploss. Was doing some trading and it bit me hard.

      2. Yup Walter Peter is great on trading naked.

        Next apply the law of fibo to increase capital. Something like double your trading capital from $100 to $200 in 10 months then double from $200 to $400 and so on, in less then 10 years u be earning a living from $100. Assuming u dun pump $$.

  63. Hey Tim,

    In India, we have an exam called the “IIT JEE” (Indian institute of technology joint entrance exam)

    Considered to be the most competitive and toughest exam for entrance to a college. It is my dream to get into one of the IITs!!!!

    The probelm is – the portions are HUGE and approximately ‘1.5 million’ students fight for 9,000 seats!!! :/

    I basically, wasted my junior year, sort of crumbling under the pressure. But now the tension is dawning on me and I have a lot to do. It is assumed that a minimum of 8 hours of study per day is ‘necessity’ for preparation!!

    I’m a bright student and topped high school. But, I just can’t study for long hours. And the huge task ahead, demotivates me even to ‘begin’ studying.

    I have less than a year left for the exam now.

    Is there a way to optimise concentration & focus and also not make the task of studying look daunting?

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.


  64. love to learn a few languages been struggling with that for the last few years.





  65. So many skills… martial arts, and photography seem like the two easiest to jump into. Studying genetic engineering and regenerative medicine perhaps a bit harder. Investing and computer programing somewhere in the middle.

    There are so many lifetimes to live.

  66. One thing- I used to joke about how there was no possible way to find a single place online where there are intelligent commenters. Not only is your blog a great resource, but this is the first time I have EVER left a comment on a blog, website, or other online.

    “Domo Arigatogozaimashita.”

  67. Hi,

    Any advise on how I can speed up learning a particular line of study. Currently, I am trying to be a Six Sigma black belt. Requires a lot of statistical understanding(not to mention…time) for the same. All suggestions would be really appreciated!


  68. I’d like to learn the art of visualization. I have a lot of trouble with visualizing things clearly because my thoughts are pretty fleeting.

    It would help me enjoy books and other techniques that require visualization.

  69. I watched this last night while doing a few odd jobs and was really inspired by it… I’ve already put this technique to practice today in learning to read more efficiently. It’s something I’ve wanted to learn for a long time and have been so daunted by my slow reading speeds that I’d overlooked how simple it is to practically implement a few simple techniques and become much better at reading almost instantly! Thanks Tim!

  70. Hey Tim

    There’s been a lot of focus on learning skills with consistent playing fields, ie swimming in a pool or reading from a book. But what about skills with constantly changing environments? For example, surfing.

    I wrote and directed a How to Surf DVD (Moderator: Link Removed) with the 4-hour-chef learning principles in mind, focusing on those fundamental skills which produce most of the desired outcome. One thing we did struggle with, though, was the fact that the ocean is always changing, and we could only generalize (to an extent) some of the specifics…

    ie: when a wave does this, you should do this…. (waves are never the same)

    What i’m asking is when a skill relies heavily on internal feedback and kinesthetic feeling, where is the best place to start with teaching? Can you just ‘push them in the right direction’ or is it important to offer up the most common problems and solutions to those, and hope that the learner can overcome these and learn in their own way?


  71. How can one apply meta learning to a university environment? Any tips and strategies on how to apply 80/20 to school work?

  72. Hey now super community!

    I am hoping someone here could point me in the right direction, as I answer Tim’s question above.

    I feel like I’ve been trying to research this craft for days and I am getting no where.

    In 6 months I would like to SPECIFICALLY learn how to produce live concert videography in enclosed controlled spaces, i.e., Kimbra’s “Plain Gold Ring” Live at Sing Sing Studios in Australia (http://bit.ly/a6qhz3)

    This is the EPITOME of what I am trying to accomplish. What’s the problem? Audio. I have no clue how to set the audio up to accomplish the quality, crisp, sound that is produced in Kimbra’s video. Do any of you know, or know of someone, who could give a step-by-step instructional guide on what equipment I will need (i.e., portable field mixer? microphone? what brand?) and how to set my camera to take the audio as beautifully as Sing Sing did?

    And yes, I contacted Sing Sing. Still waiting.

    Keeping my toes, eyes, fingers, and legs (sorry fellas) crossed that someone here could even point me in the right direction and I will master(ish) this skill in LESS than 6 months.


    1. Gigi. The audio part is actually very easy. You just record it off the mixer that the sound guy is running, then synch it up with your video while editing. Chances are the audio coming off the board will be as good or better than anything you could do on your own (and why bother taking the time to capture the best possible audio when the sound guy is already trying to do the same thing).


      1. Mason, you may not be able to see me, but trust, I opened a bottle of tequila from Panama and made a Tequila Sunrise in your honor after I read your reply.

        Thank you so much! That was TRULY helpful! You just deconstructed the “hardest part” of me trying to accomplish my task. Audio is King.

        I reached out to my creative network as well and a very talented lady has experience with handling 3 cameras for live shows at venues, and she is MORE than happy to answer my questions and give me hands on experience.

        Take THAT Google!

        So now that everything has been broken down into bite sized pieces, that only leaves execution. Weekend project 🙂

        Thanks again Mason. I’ll remember to acknowledge you in my first video. Cheers!

  73. Thank you Tim! For explaining something momentous to me.

    In the past six months I taught myself how to run! In my 60’s”. I was never, ever a runner. Why run when you have a car, right! Swimming and surfing, no problem, but running never. I followed your methodology, even tho I didn’t known it. I studied running methods. Some trial sessions to get the stride right, kept it simple, trained myself to run a half marathon and finished. No injuries (no one really counts black toe nails do they?). Then I found your site and presentation.

    Now I have a formal structure, that documents what I seemed to do naturally. Very interesting and enlightening.

    So thank you Tim. You have inspired my to learn swimming to correct way, and ukulele next. I was going to learn long boarding but my wife said no!

  74. Tim, you would find the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg interesting. He was an 18th-century theologian, physician and inventor. Know then as “the Buddah of the West” he has a message of raised consciousness (at that point a “to come” promise) that I feel I see evidence of in the world today. Part of that “proof” that I think I see is your thought process and the innovation of the internet intersecting at a time when people are striving to live closer to their potential while serving the neighbor. I am a 46 year old housewife, not your target audience, but I find my spiritual and philosophical life somehow reflected in your books. While you’re at it, what do you think about homeopathy? I have, with a homeopath’s guidance, cured my daughter’s bad eczema, drastically improved my son’s terrible seasonal allergies and significantly improved my other son’s attention span and self-control. Great stuff – keep up the good work!

  75. Hey Tim, just wanted to say that I admire you and in some sense you have mentored me in certain aspects, and for that I thank you very much.

  76. Hi, is very difficult but not impossible. I want to encourage all those who need to begin to experiment with these guidelines. They are good and useful.

    Thank you for your article

  77. Hey Tim,

    There is a brief mention of the valsalva maneuver in you Outside Online Magazine article. Following the strength program recommended in the 4-hour body, I was pulling 315×3 for the first time in my life (coming up very nicely, I was surprised!) when on the 3rd rep I felt a sharp pain in my lower left abdomen (when my abdominal wall started to tear). If I could learn one skill I would want to learn the valsalva maneuver and get back on the deadlifting-horse with some good hernia prevention tools because I really want to start pushing my boundaries.



  78. DiSSS is an elegant solution for saving one our country’s most valuable resources. It’s also a cause you are incredibly passionate about. We simply haven’t found the right solution. Nor the Renaissance man necessary to lead the revolution. If you’d like me to expound a bit, let me send a few more thoughts your way.