A How-To Guide: Accelerated Learning for Accelerated Times

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 over 400 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.

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

  1. 1. Krav Maga, I’ve been to a handful of classes, but I haven’t stuck with it even though I really want to learn it for peace of mind and as a physical outlet.

    2. Drawing comic book style. I used to draw incessantly as a kid, I would love to get back into it.

      1. Wow…thanks for mentioning Otaku Camera. I just downloaded it and it is awesome. As a manga and general comic book fan this is great.

    1. When it comes to Krav maga… you’ll need to break it down into different chunks(stance, distance, footwork, punches , kicks, grapples) .

      It might sound counter-intuative but I found the book : Bruce Lee : Jeet Kune Do , to be very effective at realising the parts of any fighting style.

      You can ind most of this book for free on google books. Let me know how you get on!

    2. If you’re able to do Krav Maga three times a week, go out of your way to do it.

      Training essentially every other day keeps it in the front of your mind at all times, you’ll notice your response time improve very quickly.

      Visualize techniques when you can. No need to meditate on choke releases for half an hour, just go through the movements in your head every now and then – the body can only follow the mind’s command, and the faster the brain sends information, the faster your physical reactions will be.

      Only side effect is that you walk the streets thinking everybody’s out to murder you. 🙂

    3. @Jeff, I’ve had the same problem as you for martial arts. The way that helped me a lot, was to engrain whatever martial art into your body. Don’t do it, but feel, and this will happen by trusting and developing confidence that our bodies can do Krav Maga, Systema, Wu wei, or w/e martial art it is and not only learn it, but be it.

  2. I would love to learn how to code.

    I have put it off for 2 years.


    1.Too many programming languages to chose from.

    2. It seems like the experts have an insurmountable head start.

    3. Coding seems isolating and potentially boring, especially when just start outing and unable to ship a bunch of cool programs.

    1. Hi Ryan,

      I suggest you try out PYTHON. It’s the closest langauge to English and it’s pretty easy to learn; especially for beginners. The hardest part in learning is sticking to it — 5 sessions as Tim mentions above.

      If you’re interested, I have a class on Udemy that teaches Python and Django. Search for “Coding for Entrepreneurs” and get in for free with the code ‘4HWW’ — it expires on Friday. This class I skip the theory and jump right in to the code so you can learn step by step.

      Another place to learn python is codecademy. Google it. It’s an amazing free resource that will help get you going in no time.

      Cheers and good luck in learning code!

        1. You bet Ann. I want to get more non-technicals coding! Don’t hesitate to ask questions in the course when you get stuck!

          Will you do me a favor and rate the class right away? You can always change your rating later… but, more favorable ratings means more sign ups and more content for you!


      1. I heartily agree. Python is the bomb for clear code and understanding core concepts. Also search for ‘Dive Into Python’ and ‘How to Think Like Computer Scientist Using Python.’ As to the problem of boredom, it will help if you have a particular tool or project in mind. You will learn coding as a means to an end…and the decide whether to keep going after that.

    2. Yes, I am trying to learn coding too (mostly to be a better prototyper and product person and entrepreneur). I have decided to learn rails because it does a lot of SQL and HTML generation for you and seemed to be the easiest for beginners with a big community of support. I am trying the onemonthrails program by doing:

      1. Ruby on Rails 3 Essential Training with Kevin Skoglund on Lynda.com (1 week)

      2. RoR Tutorial by Michael Hartl (1 week)

      3. Web Apps class by John Clusterhut at Stanford online (1 week)

    3. try mt4 for forex or studiopress or thesis both highly sought after for wordpress. You can create own gigs from fiverr or annouce to founders of studiopress or thesis that you are one of the designers.

      Either way, you are better of learning coding that are evergreen. Iphone apps or android are highly sought after.



    4. As a programmer of 20+ years I’ll tell you my thoughts on those points:

      1. You don’t have to learn only one language. After you have the first one under your belt, it’s surprising how quickly you can learn another one. This is especially true if you learn an object-oriented language first (i.e. Java, C#) instead of a scripting language (i.e. PHP, Python, Ruby). But you should try a few different ones and see which one(s) you like best. Just play around with them and do lots of tutorials. That’s also how the “experts” start with a new language.

      2. It doesn’t matter how far ahead of you the “experts” are. If you’re just learning how to play basketball, you shouldn’t compare yourself to LeBron. That’s not motivating and doesn’t help your confidence. Just focus on your own progress and have fun achieving your own goals. Also, it’s easy to find people to help you learn, since everyone in software development (programming) is always learning something themselves. They recognize the struggle and most are willing to help.

      3. It can be isolating if you let it, but working with others on a programming project can be a lot of fun – even in a business setting. WIth the right group, there’s a real team atmosphere and plenty of comaraderie. Although most work IS done solo, so if you don’t enjoy tons of analysis, focused thinking, and being “in the zone”, it might seem pretty boring to some. Interactions happen when you need help or just need a break. It can be brain-draining sometimes, so there are LOTS of both.

  3. For rapid learning of languages I highly recommend Duolingo. Lessons are broken into small sessions and learners gain points to level up through various categories. Plus the mobile app is fantastic!

        1. Readthekanji.com focuses on the vocab and kanji part of Japanese. Spend an hour or two learning the grammar and you’ll be good after that.

      1. I’ve been living between Colombia and Argentina for a year—the plan is to become fluent in Spanish in less than two years. I get by fine, but I know I won’t reach the goal of fluency with my current practice. My grammar is awful, my vocabulary limited, and my ear for regional accents is a wall. When I deconstruct, top of the list is, I hate to study (in general), and I hate to memorize (verb tenses).

        Just viewed the video—I’m intrigued! I’m going to apply DiSSS methodology moving forward: let me know if you have other tips specific to language I can roll in as I plot my course. Thanks!

        1. Hi Vicki,

          What have you been doing in Colombia and Argentina? I’ve been thinking of a similar trip there to learn Spanish, travel. I was thinking 6 months. I’d love to chat about your experience.

        1. hello! am far from advanced but just began a couple years ago and wonder if this may help you…was fortunate to have two pieces in a local juried art show in VA… (so encouraging and rewarding):

          read Recovery of inner child by lucia capacchione – she shows how people who never drew before draw expressive things about themselves — then all i did right afterward knowing it is possible – was to look hard at a photo of myself and start drawing the outline … it was creative! lo and behold! drew others then that i had strong feelings about. let me know if this helps you get started. small ez to carry sketchbook or just napkins in a cafe can work to get started. then an art mentor said draw ea day, found it only takes 5 min to an hour how ever long i wanted. art mentor said then try some with few lines and others with lots of lines. excited for you! again hope these help. apparently lots of artists use photos. my art mentor then took me off photos – but that time period of around six or 12 months really helped. drawing from memory was harder but interesting. then andrew loomis books are supposed to be the best

    1. how good is duolingo for truly learning a language to fluency?

      It seems similar to sites like codeacademy that do nothing more than pump you up with a superficial understanding.

    2. Started Duolingo Spanish. First level was easy as I hear much in CA every day. Second level was too great a jump. Could not do any of it.

  4. I’ve been putting off increasing my vertical leap so I can dunk a basketball, I tried a few years ago and was making massive improvements but my poor form on the deadlift left me with an injured back.

    So if I could learn anything in the next 6 months it would be increasing my vertical, it’s always been a childhood dream of mine to get above the rim.

    Love hearing you give advice on learning Tim.

    1. The “Effortless Superhuman” part of the 4-Hour body cover this. Specifically the Sumo Deadlift might be useful for you which involves your legs more than your back compared to a conventional deadlift.

      1. This is also a dream of mine. I’ve done the effortless superhuman for about 6-8 weeks and I can say that my explosiveness of the ground definitely improved. Currently, I’m in the middle of a different program trying to get my BF under 10%. I’ve always heard good things about Gil Thomas’s DunkDreamz program but I have not spent a good amount of time looking into the material. One of his first steps is getting the BF% low.

  5. I have been putting off honing my skill at guitar, it is one of the most beautiful things in the world to me personally and I still struggle with accepting that I have let my skill sharply slide. If I could learn any skill in the next six months, I would love to learn how to become a video editing super ninja and make even better videos to inspire the world around me while pushing my career to the next level!

    1. I’ve played the guitar since I was a kid (I’m in my forties), and what kick started my playing was a Kindle Fire with a speaker dock in my music room so I could woodshed on youtube guitar videos. Super Fast learning.

  6. 1) I have put off learning the guitar because it seems like an overwhelming amount of skills to master. Every time I start, I can’t get past four basic chords as I struggle to make my fingers stretch to accommodate the chords.

    2) In the next six months I intend to master a free standing handstand and short handstand walk!

    1. As a guitar player, I will recommend you focus on songs instead of chords. Yes, you need to know chords in order to play songs, but if you find a song you love, that’s the song that will help you learn those chords.

      A good metaphor is through language learning. Instead of taking classes and focusing on the grammar of a language (chords and notes), you should seek out sentences and paragraphs (songs, symphonies) that show native usage of that language (guitar, instrument).

    2. I second Tyler’s advice, and would also recommend that you check out Songsterr. It’s a good source for a lot of songs, whether you read music or tab. I mainly use the iPad app.

    3. I agree with Tyler, when i first started guitar i had lessons which i found tiresome so i quit for 2 years. I then decided after that time that i wanted to pick it up again; what i found was that learning songs that i liked was a lot more satisfying. Once i felt my skills were getting better learning chords scales etc were a lot easier.

    4. Bec,

      You might consider getting a smaller guitar. If this is not an option then try to stretch your fingers away from the instrument. One exercise is to fit as many fingers on your right hand between the fingers on your left hand.

      Generally it is better to not try to conform yourself to the instrument but to find an instrument that fits you. As the great tubist Arnold Jacobs (and just about everybody else) said “Tension is the enemy”

    5. I recommend going on Youtube and looking at the guitar teaching videos from “guitarjamzdotcom” and “martyzsongs”. The teacher breaks down popular songs into the chords and strumming patterns separately. Very helpful!

  7. I need to learn to build a personal brand for motivational speaking. I wish to speak to jr high, high school, and early university students about choosing their career.

    I am also building a 2 day outdoor leadership course. First one is June 29th.

    How do I build a brand when no one knows me?

      1. @Patrick @Benny Get out there and start speaking with whatever branding you have now, even if it’s just you.Figure out your own USP for what you do and lean on that, adjusting and tweaking over time as you get real-world feedback. Make sure everything you do is video recorded and share it online, in info products, etc. Today your personal brand is not something you create out of thin air but is a by-product of who you are, who you help and what you stand for.

    1. My advice,

      1. Get on Help A Reporter Out, answer questions

      2. Build credibility indicators…search this blog for “local to national media”

      3. Ask yourself: if I want to build a (paying) career around motivational speaking…who is WILLING and ABLE to pay for my speaking? Is creating a video product of you giving presentation(s) more scaleable because it does not involve travel, and you can sell it while you sleep.

      A great question to ask yourself is: what would I create if I could create anything?

      All the best,


    2. Aside from speaking in whatever capacity you’re currently able to, I’d also recommend developing a following around your message through Youtube or your website. Some unpolished motivational speakers are being paid by their website readers simply because the readers resonate with their messages and feel a personal bond with them.

      I’d also recommend joining Toastmasters. It’s one of the best places to develop your skills as a speaker.

  8. Learning a language would be number one on things I’ve put off learning. I think the perceived barrier to entry is what has kept me away, but I’m slowly warming up to the idea through duolingo and similar services.

    Great talk by the way!

  9. I recently got a job as a waiter at a new hip, trendy restaurant in Providence, RI. I like wine but never learned much about it. Any suggestions on how to brain hack my way into learning wine basics? They really want us to push wine sales and be able to answer questions from “wine snobs”.

    1. Here’s a shortcut: learn to deflect back and ask them the best QUESTIONS about their preferences, and have a few go-to recommendations for different dishes. That will solve 90% of the situations. Sometimes the Qs are more important than the As, as the Qs determine the As 🙂

    2. Quick hack

      Red wine – meat dishes

      white wine – chicken and fish dishes

      Each type of wine has specific qualities about them.

      – As Tim mentions understand those specific qualities i.e. dry white and you will be able to have a conversation by first asking the clients preferences .

      Group the wines into these specific categories in your restaurant – You will cover the 80/20 rule.

      And finally the more expensive the wine the rarer it is either by age or supplier.

    3. hey Kevin, check out the introduction to wine course in Skillshare.com called Stop Thinking and Start Drinking by John Boyer. I myself love drinking wine but don’t know too much about it. The accessible course taught me quite a lot! Cheers from Sweden!

    4. Yeah sure, use the hacks (at first) for your job (to get by) but either decide you are going to put in the time and effort to actually become knowledgeable about wine and be able to help patrons make choices or simply be just another flakey waiter. You won’t be making as much in tips if all you can offer are the 2 hacks offered by Tim and Todd.

    5. Here’s a quickie wine pairing chart found by 10 sec images.google.com search ‘wine pairing chart’:


      California is biggest wine producer in US. Wine is huge biz in the state and the #2 tourism draw.

      Read through the California Wine Institute site and will learn a lot: http://www.wineinstitute.org/

      Also go to Youtube for short wine courses.

      Winebusiness.com is helpful too.

      Learn! It’ll pay off. If know your stuff will make more tips for starters.

    6. I found myself going from knowing very little about wine, to having a pretty good handle on the flavor palate. The trick was to simply sit down with a dozen or two dozen varieties and trying them all in one sitting. Not drinking a whole glass but just sip enough to taste and really focus on the subtleties. After you have this bit of working knowledge it shouldn’t be too hard to fudge around the edges and come off like a real wine-o!

  10. How to be good at Maths? I have been procrastinating preparation for GMAT for quite a while, any tips for it will be very helpful

    1. For maths the Engineering Mathematics and Advanced Engineering Mathematics books by K. A. Stroud are absolutely fantastic. The first one basically takes you from being unable to count to a college level maths knowledge, the second covers most of the maths you need for a postgraduate maths degree. The chapters are simple, clear, full of exercises and incredibly well explained.

    2. get yourself on KhanAcademy.org with a google or fb account, and watch all the videos and do all the exercises. It might not be exactly what you’re doing in class, but it will fill the gaps. Most problems with Math stem from missing gaps earlier in education, you#ll be surprised how good you can get at it!

  11. Even through getting a degree and working as a music teacher I dont feel I can conduct at a level I feel is acceptable. (Taking care of that through my connections now)

    I would like to learn how to rapidly read and prepare musical scores. I find myself just memorizing the sounds and not really reading the music as much as I should. Maybe Tim’s speed reading techniques might be somewhat applicable.

  12. I have plut off learning spanish for like 6 years. Dont know why…

    But if I could choose one it would be writing

  13. Hi Tim,

    I would like to see Accelerated Lessons for

    learning how to play guitar in the

    next 6 months. And improving one’s playing skills.

    Song-writing would be cool too!


    1. 1.Pick a song you want to learn.

      2.Find the tab on songsterr or ultimate guitar. (Just google “[song name] tab”)

      3. Listen and follow tab (songsterr has a backing track which you can mute.


      -Guitar map http://0.tqn.com/d/guitar/1/0/3/5/partsofaguitar.jpg

      -Power chord (A lot like flipping someone the bird) http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-a6TNCpbFul8/UCaB9XqNacI/AAAAAAAAAFY/-IwpDiAZ2ZU/s1600/105346.image1.jpg

      -Scales http://www.learnandmaster.com/guitar-blog/wp-content/uploads/pentatonic-scale-1st-pos.gif

      -Alternate picking (faster harder) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-N-8M8XwoFo

      -Palm mute (literally, rest your pick hand palm on the strings just above the bridge)

      Palm mute alternate picking between power chords make it sound like you can play.

      Not so basic:

      -Legato http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HBnkYjAoSw

      -Arpeggio (uses scales) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1ctq07wGDc

      Recommended songs to look at:

      Iron Man

      Enter Sandman

      Hey There Delilah

      Tim actually blogged about chords and “The Axis of Awesome.” http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2012/12/11/how-to-play-the-guitar/

    1. Learn Python by finding out how to:

      0) Install ActiveState Python and fire up the Editor

      1) Learn to read a file, write to a file

      2) Split a linein parts (for instance spaces, comma’s)

      3) Go over the lines in a file with a (for-) loop

      4) Learn to create a simple UI with TKinter (standard part of Python)

      With these excercises you will be able to to quite a bit of programming in a few days and you learn the rest on the way….I hope this helps.

  14. I’d like like to learn to be a pro-networker / socialite. I grew up with a lot of introverted personality characteristics that have actually served me well in a lot of aspects of my life, but when it comes to working a room, or soft skills in my company, I’ve got very little to work with.

    I really don’t know where to start, where to find mentors, or how to get good feedback on what I’m doing. I don’t think I can change hard-wired parts of my personality, but I’d like to be able to grow some skills that I can turn on when useful.

    1. Can I humbly suggest the book “brain at work” which could be a starting point to undestanding and controlling emotions. Also, going to meetups (meetup.com) to groups of your interest might get you more used to interacting with strangers.

    2. Toastmasters is a great way, not only to build confidence in front of people and public speaking, but also to learn to socialize and work the room, as you call it. I’ve been going to a local club for 1.5 hours/week for the past year and it would be fair to say that it made a huge difference. It is not exactly a shortcut, but beyond the basics I would say this is the type of skill that you continualy have to practice.

    3. Check out the quiet, the power of introverts. techniques on how to fit in in an extrovert world without loosing yourself.

    4. Josh,

      Perfect new book out for Introverts #1 best seller in it’s category and great reviews. Kindle avail: “Quiet: The Power of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking.” By Susan Cain. Read an excellent review of it, I think on Forbes.

    5. I’m so glad you posted this Josh. I was trying to think of a way to articulate it, but you put it better than I could.

      I forgot about toastmasters. I did it for a while a few years ago and it is an excellent, safe space for practicing “working a room.” I think I’ll give it a go again.

    6. Hey Josh, I’d highly recommend Real Social Dynamics as an information provider in developing your social skills. Although they brand themselves as a pick up artist company, they don’t encourage the memorization of “lines” or “routines.” They develop social confidence through personal development and immersion in social situations.

  15. What do you think would be the most important skill to learn (assuming you know no skills besides high school level education)?

  16. I’ve put off really learning and understanding the science behind cooking. I know it wouldn’t take that much effort, I just haven’t placed enough importance on it to actually dive in. I suspect it would help my cooking, which isn’t something I directly think I need help with, but it certainly couldn’t hurt!

    What I do need to learn in the next six months is French! We are moving to France in 8 months, and it’d be nice to be able to converse!

    1. Hi Mary

      I’m a French woman and I’ll be glad helping you improve your french if you want to.

      I highly recommend you listing to French tv shows or radio podcast.


  17. I’ve been putting off learning guitar, Russian, and speedreading for some time now. It mostly seems to be a lack of focus (I have ADHD), but I’m not ruling out some other reason for me lollygagging.

  18. The skill I have put off the longest is both memory improvements (poor memory) and becoming supremely organized (not so organized!) They really go hand in hand.

    So, if I could learn one skill in the next six months it would be crystal clear short-medium term memory coupled with supreme organization skills & life. To get shit done! Memory is required for the input. So a thought might occur to me for something I’d like to get done at some point in the future, say within the next month. I have no method system or way of first re-remembering it and then getting it done.

    Also how to structure the day is a part of being supremely organized.

    1. You have hit the nail on the head for me – short term memory and organization is my first ones too. I would become your accountability partner if you need one. I have a lot of knowledge here but could use support implementing it.

      1. Hi guys

        Have you ever heard about Tony Buzan and his concept of mind mapping?

        If not I suggest you to see this video :


        Or this one, which is a ted talk about memory :


        And read this book :


        This is an introduction regarding mind mapping. But if you want to go deeper, you can check this website :


        And to finish, I’ve heard about this book (for organisation) but haven’t read it yet :


        Voila,hope this helps.

  19. Hey Tim, that was really deep man (nice closure on simplicity too!)

    I didn’t know about that Stickk site but I can definitely see myself getting results with it.

    About the guitar post, I still remember the video you embedded there (it was pretty epic) but I can’t remember if you actually learnt how to play the guitar or not, did you?


    PS. The most popular anti-charity was pretty funny, I would totally hate myself if my money was going there in case of not succeeding so it has to work!

  20. I want to learn about producing a documentary. I’m in finance but am so tired of seeing crappy documentaries made about natural healing (ie Simply Raw) that takes a great concept and screws up the movie. I need help getting started. Any takers?

  21. The skill of MED teaching. I have a class on Udemy, “Coding for Entrepreneurs || A Programming Class for the Non-Techncial Founder” that’s primary objective is to overcome the fear and doubt when learning programming that many non-technicals have. I was once one of these people and after 1,800 sign ups (with some discounted sign ups) I’ve found that this skill, for this audience, is highly prized.

    The challenge I face currently is distilling this information into smaller bits that provide effective results. I love the idea of getting them to do 5-sessions. That’s something I need to implement right away.

    Look forward to your thoughts.


  22. One skill that I have been putting off for the longest is learning the skill of persuasion and voice mastery.

    Why have I been putting it off? I just don’t know what will work or what principles to follow to be taken seriously and convey power or authority in my voice.

    I’m only just turning 21 and due to my allergies I’m nasally and often sound like my balls haven’t dropped, but yet I still want to pursue being a real estate investor. A “Rainmaker” if you will in the industry. Which means being personable, like-able and incredibly persuasive is a must for me.

    This doesn’t just affect my business life, With family and friends I’m always the quiet one because when I go to speak about something, I just like always seem to cause awkward silences and then fade into the background.

    I also can never seem to find the right words and end up speaking nonsense when under pressure and kick myself afterwards tortured by “I shouldve said …!” kinda thoughts.

    If anyone has any tips,tricks, or resources that can impact my life long quest for voice mastery and persuasion, I would humbly appreciate it and would be ever so grateful.

    1. I like to find tv shows in whatever language you are learning. Pick a genre you like. wikipedia is good for finding out stations and what they are broadcasting. if you like what you are watching you will stick with it.

  23. The skill would be playing the guitar (blues genre) I dont think learning how to play 3-4 chords cuts it, as the depth of what you need to learn to play well greatly exceeds that.

      1. Hi Michael,

        Blues is a very simple musical form. Conversely, it is also true that “Blues is like Life, you can put it all in”! So you may find yourself faced with things very advanced! I suggest you to begin with this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_519cKMj6J0

        Believe me, learn the first two solos and you will have already many awesome, simply and elegant licks to use in your blues improvisations!

        Proceed to learn the material in this way:

        1 – Learn the fingering of the scales gradually, learning not only with fingers but also with listening. It’s crucial.

        2 – Learn the fingering of the solo (fingers and listening, remember!)

        3 – Learn the tone (HOW the single note is touch): with glissanto, vibrato, hammer-ons or pull-offs, down stroke, up stroke, rake, and so on

        NOTE: If you are a beginner, learn only the fist scale and its solo is the best way to get a lot of satisfaction!

        In the Blues it is important to learn as many licks as possible and understand the sound of each lick on each individual chord of the blues progression (I – IV – V).

        The blues is the foundation of a lot (almost all) of western music and is the best starting point for all to become a good musician! This is an example of how language can evolve in Blues: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkaqfgSqtHg

        If you are trouble, email me 😉

        P.S. Hi Tim!

  24. I’d like to learn how to do quick math calculations by mind and how to build my vocabulary. Also, any way you could teach us how to build upper body strength to lift weight? I need to lift 50 lbs for work above my shoulders and can only lift 20 at the moment.

    1. Pavel’s Greasing the Grove technique may help here (not entirely sure if it’s “his” technique, but he’s the one I first heard about it from).

      Essentially, take a weight you can lift above your head 10 times, and lift it 5 times at regular intervals throughout the day.

      I could write for ages on this topic, but so I don’t fill up the blog comments (or hit the character limit), it’s probably easier if you Google “greasing the groove”. This post is pretty good http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=120750501&page=1

  25. I have been putting off learning web design. I know it will make me much more marketable as a freelance marketer, but I can’t seem to find the time to wrap my head around it all

    1. Web design is a VERY useful resource and tons of places to learn.

      Codecademy is free and pretty easy

      TeamTreehouse is not free but pretty awesome content overall

      CodeSchool is not free but awesome content (more programming than straight web design)

      I also have a simple introduction to “Your First HTML website in less than 10 minutes” on YouTube. if you follow that video along, it will get you making a website faster than you could have ever thought.

      Hope that helps.


  26. Awesome! Geez that was a dead crowd there! You could hear a mouse! This is the main reason I bought the 4 hour chef.

    On a really un-related side note! Have you ever seen the show river monsters? The guy in that show reminds me of you so much, I bet you guys would be friends.

  27. I have been putting of learning to program, Ruby or Python. It is a new field to me and seem time consuming. It is hard to know where to start or how to set up a schedule/plan.

    1. Hi Jen,

      I was in the exact same situation as you a few years ago. I tried rails, php, javascript, you name it. I found python, and it was like a matchmade in newbie heaven.

      Not to sound too redundant to another comment I made. I believe Python is the best for beginners because it resembles english the most (if that’s even possible)

      A few free resources to check out:

      – Codecademy (search for python)

      – Udacity (their programming classes use python)

      – google’s python class (above 2 are easier to follow because they were made for web)

      – “Coding for Entrepreneurs” on udemy (shameless self promotion)– get it for free using ‘4HWW’ (by this friday) so it’s clear my intentions are to get you learning.

  28. At age 73 a skill I really need to learn is how to organize a house and make it easier to keep clean.

    I hate housework therefore I’ll be learning something I don’t really like to do. So if simplified… would mean less time spent doing this disagreeable chore.. ….maybe?

    Not what you wanted, but what I need.

    1. Me too! Options?

      Moving to a place where domestic service is cheaper?

      Rent a room in a hotel or old age residency?

      Ask someone to teach house tasks?

      Do them in a mindful state?

    2. I hate housework, too. I lean on Flylady.net–a woman (who for free) provides an online reminder system with daily housekeeping tasks that can be done in 15 minutes or less. If you follow it faithfully, you’ll eventually end up with minimal time spent cleaning. Of course, it helps if you eliminate all unnecessary objects from your home. The less you have, the less you have to keep clean.

    3. Hi Cararta,

      Fly lady is a great resource for maintaining and cleaning your home. She advocates developing daily habits. It’s a great resource for developing any habit, really. I hope it’s helpful, let me know!



      1. Hi Tim,

        Went to Fly lady and looked around,

        copied the commandments….What is funny…I cleaned the sink

        yesterday so I’m ahead!

        Cute site, not bossy, think I’ll go back and sign up, just might work…do a little

        each day….

        Thanks for taking time to share.


    1. Hi Visakam,

      TM; time management – let me now better Your task – Your real goal – why and for what it’s so important for You? How You plan and check Your timeline now? For sure You do that 🙂

      I work as a consultant for many companys. very often “the problem” is how we perceive our own performance.

      For me was very helpful Tim Ferriss’s idea:

      1. Don’t try to be more motiveted and focused than its nessery,

      2. Answer: what i want to do is more easy than what i want to achive,

      3. The “goog questions” determint good TM,

      If You get any question, write and send mail 🙂

      Good luck


  29. In the next 6 months I like to learn how to master writing. Writing has never been my forte while I was in school and like Tim I avoided it like the plague. I study and emulate people like Tim, but I know that Tim’s writing style might not suit what I take interest in writing.

    What helped you learn how to write well?

      1. Michael and Tim,

        I would also recommend “Understanding Comics” by Scott McCloud. It’s not about writing-writing, but it’s a great source of wisdom about optimalization the story and making the plots so addictive that the reader forgets about the physical medium she holds. Worth trying, it helped me a lot.

        1. I’d love to improve my creative writing. I’ve heard of the Stephen King book before but reading a book about writing somehow doesn’t cut it for me. What I need is to look for a group of other writers (scary stuff!) The comic book sounds interesting though…

      2. Great I’ll check those out thanks Tim!

        Not sure if you already this but Chineasy (www.chineasy.org) is a fantastic tool for visual learners hoping to learn the Mandarin Chinese. Check it out!

    1. I’ve only been blogging for about 3-4 months, but I’ve learned that writing consistently is absolutely crucial in developing as a writer. If at all possible I’d recommend writing everyday as well as writing as fast as possible.

      Writing and editing use different parts of the brain, and as you’ve probably heard our brains aren’t effective multi-taskers. By separating writing and editing into two different processes you should be able to maintain a better flow through out your writing.

    2. Michael-

      I’d second Tim’s recommendations, especially On Writing Well, and add another, A Dictionary of Modern American Usage. Its sound intimidating, but it’s quite readable and make a fantastic reference and idea source.

      But my number one recommendation is just start writing. Write every day and make sure people read what you write and give you feedback. Start a blog, get your friends to read it, write just to write. Eventually you’ll realize there’s no such thing as writing, only re-writing.

      I’ve been writing professionally for over a decade now and nothing has made me a better writing so much as just doing it, making mistakes, failing to get my point across and then trying again. Try not to take the failures personally, just rewrite and republish.

  30. 1) What skill have you put off learning for longest… and why?

    I want to become a certified KB instructor. Why? Because I don’t feel prepared or strong enough.

    2) If you could learn one skill in the next six months, what would it be?

    I want to learn how to code and become a Jr. Developer.

  31. Total Immersion changed my life. I just completed the Golden Gate Bridge to Bay Bridge swim (6.2 miles) last weekend after only starting open water swimming 3 years ago…after learning TI.

    1. TI also helped me a lot! Ive been swimming for the last three months and it has bee. Incredible! Thnks for Tims blog post!

    1. The best way to learn this craft is by finding a mentor. You will shave years off of your learning curve by doing this. Find the person you most respect in your local area (or be willing to move to where they are) and learn how you can solve a problem for them. Be insanely useful and helpful (say web skills or toilet scrubbing) and in exchange ask that they teach you the ways of the force.

      Of course it all depends on what kind of music you are wanting to work on but the best resource I know of for this is gearslutz.com. Also try tapeop.com. Or you can always fly to France: mixwiththemasters.com. Good luck!

  32. Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Started about a month ago and training is great, but consists of maybe 45 minutes of whatever technique the instructor feels like followed by 45 minutes sparring. I think it could be more strategic, like learning ‘openings’ and ‘closings’ before putting it together but maybe that’s just me. Not sure if you’ve talked before about deconstucting martial arts?

  33. Gardening! I am studying Horticulture at the moment but a lot of the theory side seems to get lost on me. I’m hoping to bring back the Hemp in NZ sometime soon. I haven’t really figured out how to apply the framework to something so broad as growing food and whatnot. Chur Tim-dawg.

  34. Learning Portuguese – properly. I bought the 501 Verbs book when I came back from Brazil 10 years ago and opened it once. It seems to dmeanding, in terms of sustained mental work.

  35. Hey everyone,

    Quick question. I have pretty bad forward neck posture (which is one issue), and also really bad man-boobs. I know that is not the technical term, but honestly I have no idea what that would be. Does anyone have any tips on how to fix a forward neck posture and / or also fix the flabby chest area? Chest excercises? And if so precisely which ones can I do to relieve myself of the excess fat on those muscle groups.

    I’m only 25 and have been extremely healthy my entire life (soccer 12+ years), but recently have had 3 years of jobs in consulting as a senior programmer and all the desk work is taking its tole. I’d like to reverse it now to be happy with my body again.

    Again, thanks for any advice guys, you are all an inspiration.

    – Dain

    1. I’m not a doctor, but I did deal with this issue last year when a seriously pinched nerve had me sidelined for 2 months.

      My physical therapist gave me her own version of the 80/20 rule. Look at what you do with most of your time and learn or make adaptions to help your neck. For me these places were bed and my desk/studying. Get yourself a great pillow for sleeping. (I’ve tried several and my personal favorite is called the chiroflow pillow. You can find them online. The top is soft and the bottom is a water bladder so you can adjust the firmness!)

      Second, evaluate how you sit at your desk. Make sure your monitor is level so you are looking straight on. If you use a laptop, get an adjustable stand. (I found one for about $20 at walmart). Also, don’t forget to hold your phone up instead of tilting your head down when you play with your phone or ipad.

      Those 2 things were the biggest help. I also used chiropratic adjustments and my PT taught me some neck strengthening exercises and stretches. I wish I had a good source to demo the exercises, but they’re tough to describe.

    2. Find a great massage therapist, get loosened up. (Not a good massage therapist, a great one who can help with body mechanics and not just rub lotion on you) Spend 30 seconds every half hour looking at the ceiling, let those little muscles in the back of your neck rest. Do push ups! Regular ones and in open doorways, open up your chest and look up, give that neck some love. Slow and easy, never forced. Time and a great licensed massage therapist will do wonders.

      1. I just wanted to say that your ‘just look up at the ceiling’ tip has been the most helpful thing I think I’ve ever done with regards to my posture. It’s amazing. I can do it anytime of day, while Im working and it resets my posture. Seriously that tip is a goldmine, thank you so much.

    3. Check out the Neanderthal No More series of articles on the T-Nation website by Eric Cressy and Mike Robertson.

      I would post a link but the site is blocked at work.

      Note: The site is heavily into weightlifting, bodybuilding and isn’t ashamed of that fact, if you get offended by pictures of hugely muscular, half naked men, then it’d be best to do a Google site specific search instead of trawling through the site itself. However you get to them, read through them a few times and if you’ve got any questions, try pinging either of the authors an email.

    4. I don’t want to sound like a shameless 4HB promoter, but the “Perfect Posterier” chapter in the Four Hour Body has helped me with my posture. It’s a simple, cheap exercise that gets to part of the root cause of posture problems, which is a lack of back strength.

    5. Man boobs (the fancy term is gynecomastia) can often be due to an increase in estrogen in males. A hormone panel (along with other tests) would need to be taken.

      For your forward neck posture…see a professional and you may need to get some xrays. I’m a chiropractor and see reverse cervical curves all the time…most of the time it can be easily corrected.

      I can’t adjust you over the phone but I can help with the gynecomastia if you need!

        1. Your liver should get rid of the extra estrogen that your body doesn’t need; so the real question is: why is there a build up of estrogen (if that’s the case)? An assessment of your hormones and blood chemistry can help answer that question. You can email me at surena.chopra@gmail.com and I can help guide you in the right direction.

          -Dr. Chopra

    6. I used to have a problem with my upper back and neck posture. My chiropractor called it upper cross syndrome. Google it and you’ll find a bunch of stretches and exercises. The one that worked best for me was to just stand with my back flat against a wall and press my head into the wall for 30 seconds. Press firmly, but not so hard that it hurts your head. Doing this every time I ride the elevator at work (6-8 times per day) had me pain free in 2 weeks.

  36. I want to use the 4hww all the way through with an idea I have but hit a wall this morning while we had our morning coffee and 4hww read. I was thinking that it wouldn’t work and the dreamline momentum stalled.

    I want my muse to work but feel stuck with the details in the middle of the book.

    My skill would be to follow through with my muse.

      1. Sing the 20% of the songs that give you 80% of the enjoyment. The reason I don’t sound terrible when I sing is because I basically sing everyday in the car on the way to school or work, all to songs on the radio. 15-30 minutes to a destination, and suddenly you have 30 – 60 minutes of practice. Don’t feel bad if your throat feels hoarse or you don’t sound good. Just try to “vocal mimicry” the singer’s voice as much as possible. After a while, you’ll have a singing style that best matches your own style, and you’ll want to sing that way.

        Also, there is a quote of some famous music teacher or something that said basically “singers would progress so much faster if they recorded and listened to their own voice”. I suggest getting a cheap recorder, or if you have a smartphone it’s easy as cake. You’ll get your own “Singing Intonation and Style 101” course for very little practice each day, or every other day. I’ve used this technique several times, and it’s like nailing an overweight picture of yourself to the fridge when you’re trying to get your 4-hour body. 🙂

    1. I don’t have an answer for you Piers because-i too am looking for the 80/20. Since this is an older post-I was hoping you might have found an answer. Please let me know if you have discovered anything. Thank you.

  37. Learning how to read fast! I’ve been putting it off for too long and it has become that thing which I keep coming back to wondering why I have such a hard time following through.

    To me it is the most basic skill that I need to be able to learn faster in general.

    Any thoughts?

  38. So I see a lot of people mention instruments such as guitar. Personally I have been playing guitar for more than 15 years, I’m no Joe Satriani but I am proficient. What I gave never been able to do is read music. Does anyone have any DiSSS strategies for actually learning to read music? I can read it at the same level as a child learns to read English. I can point at a note and figure it out in about 10-15 seconds but I want to sight read…. Please help me find the right path to start.

  39. I would have to say robotics, mechanics, computing. I want to know how to design and prototype machines that solve problems.

  40. Fantastic talk! I expected the TED wrap-up music at the end.

    Odysseus was the favorite of Athena (Goddess of Wisdom, etc) for that ability to deconstruct and recombine for his purpose. So, Homer’s 800 B.C. second book of western civilization was anointing that way of seeing.

    Surprisingly, ‘The Little Prince’ is the 3rd best-selling book in history. St-Exupery also said, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

    Things change fastest from the core & to me the world most needs more heart, and less things, simplicity.

  41. I’ve been putting off learning Polish for more than six years now, I live in Poland since three. I can communicate on a very basic level, but that’s it. Polish grammar is insane, and once I’ve learned something I hear people use it in a different way or putting a different ending to it and that’s really confusing. Plus, I have enormous difficulties with the pronunciation. I’m a language perfectionist, sort of, and I’m put off by the fact that I make mistakes as soon as I open my mouth, and knowing more doesn’t seem to increase my conversation skills a lot.

    The second skill I’ve put off for long is speed reading, I’ll try the method you describe in your blog post.

    If I could learn a new skill in six months it would be how to master (tibetan) Buddhist meditation 🙂

    1. Emotional intelligence by Daniel Goleman is excellent. As far as actionable drills that have helped me personally I would say check-out The Sedona Method by Hale Dwoskin. Can be a bit self-helpy at times but the lack of dogma and the fact that it is action-oriented are positive signs.

  42. I have long put off learning the basics of coding and web design and plan to finally tackle it this summer. It seems kind of intimidating as I really have no idea where to start. Is there a specific book that is recommended for a total beginner?

    1. I find that computer programming and learning web design is best learned just by trying it. I learned web design and a little bit of programming by reading online tutorials, going to local meetups, and occasionally watching online videos about something particular I can’t figure out myself. I hope that helped!

    2. FOR CODING: I recommend you start with pure HTML and CSS, as the two are the most basic building blocks of web structure, and more importantly, they have a finite amount of stuff to learn. Think of them like a set of colored pencils. You have say 24 colors and thats it, how you use them is up to you. This will give you a decent playground for learning while not overwhelming you with too many options.

      Get a “for dummies” book, go through it. Then go to something like Themeforest.com, “borrow” some of their photoshop templates, and just try to recreate them.

      Once this process becomes smoother, I would suggest adding the following languages to your study in more or less this order: jQuery, Javascript, PHP.

      Take small steps, and always try to center your learning through a project. It’s a lot more interesting to figure stuff out when you are invested in an outcome vs blindly following a random tutorial.

      Finally, http://net.tutsplus.com/ is a good place to check out cool mini-projects. I’d suggest going to the beginning of the archive as the more recent stuff they have is more advanced and uses a wider variety of frameworks

    3. I agree with everyone above, and will emphasize a point they both make: learn your programming towards a project. David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of Ruby on Rails and partner at 37signals (web-based software development company), says that he never learns a programming language without a problem he wants to solve. If you have an issue to fix, or a personal problem you want to deal with, you’re going to move heaven and earth to find coding solutions to your project.

  43. In the last few years I try serveral times to master negotiation, but with limited results.

    Any suggestions on how to apply DiSSS in aquire this skill will be much appreciated.

      1. Tim talks about this in a podcast he did.

        Can’t find the link at the moment but he talks about the importance of playing out all the possible decision trees in your head beforehand so you know what action you will take in what situation.


        That’s the link, unfortunately I can’t remember the specific one where he talks about negotiating and recommended reading.

  44. To learn a specific skill, would you recommend doing one at a time or is would learning two or more skills at the same time be counter-productive?

    e.g learn how to photoread, learn a language, learn a musical instrument, learn how to ride a motor-bike all in 3 months?

    – I know you could learn them but for best results I’m asking; is one at a time better?

  45. The skill to stay in the now, enjoy now. And in the same time staying prepared for the longer terms so I keep the future I love…

  46. The answer to both questions for me, right now is Brazilian Jiujitsu. Anybody have some useful recourses for 80/20 jiujitsu?

      1. Hey, thanks for the link and the advice, much appreciated. I’m interested more in no-gi probably, but would ideally like to learn both styles.

      2. Where are you getting that stat from? I’d be surprised if it’s true. Alex, check out Stephan Kesting’s stuff which is (mostly) free, and Ryan Hall’s DVDs if you’ve got some spare cash. Ryan in particular breaks BJJ down to principles rather than moves, and explains things fantastically well.

  47. Hey Tim, is there anyway you could post this on the chinese youku or tudou? I’m afraid I can’t open it since its on youtube.

  48. I’d like to learn how to make an electronic music record with Ableton software and learn to master the Dj art. I’m to impatient to find the right sound I like.

    I’d like to learn the Dj skill in the next six months.

  49. Thanks for sharing Tim. A great summary for the book!

    Any tips for leaning how to cycle as a 30 years old? (Yes, I mean a bicycle!)

    It’s quite embarrassing to learn outdoors (I am an expat living in the Netherlands, the land of cycling) and parking garages are not so motivating..

    1. Find a small hill and coast down first to learn to balance on the bike. Once you have your balance, start pedaling. No training wheels or spotter needed.

  50. I would like to learn to write. I have an idea in my head, but every time I try to put it on paper it sucks.

  51. For the past 5 years I’ve wanted to learn Japanese. Not only speaking/listening, but also reading/writing, including using kanji/hiragana/katakana like a native speaker. I find that I start to make some progress, then I plateau, and start making typical busy-being-busy excuses.

    Tim, in the video you say that you need only 1200 to 2000 words to be functionally fluent. What’s the best list you’ve found of most frequently spoken Japanese words?

    I can find lists of most commonly written kanji, but what I’m looking for is slightly different. Ideally, I’m trying to find a list of most commonly spoken words. This would include not only single kanji like ? (hon = book) but also compound kanji like ?? (ryouri = cooking) and words written in kana like ?? (yaru = do) and ??? (terebi = television)

    Anyone know where I can find a list of most frequently spoken Japanese words (written in kanji/hiragana/katakana as appropriate)?

    Many thanks,


    1. Japanese is what I seem to be struggling with for years now too.

      It’s structured easily. I did the grammar break down exercise mentioned in the video and previous posts. I use memrise to help with Kanji. I study daily. I live in Japan and even got myself a Japanese wife. Yet I still seem to be progressing depressingly slowly which I think is the real killer.

      My brain just doesn’t seem to be wired into retaining it long term. I feel like I’m walking around in the dark trying to find a switch to turn the light on.

    2. This will sound silly, but if you watch kids shows, not necessarily anime or the like, they use the most commonly used vocabulary. I’m studying chinese and do this, I found that writing down words I wasn’t sure of while watching, then reviewing I’ve gotten stronger on key words and grammer. The best is that typically those shows are only about 20 minutes long, so you could do one or two a week and probably increase your level at a good pace.

  52. I have wanted to learn to rollerblade since I was 8 years old. (I’m 32 now). I’ve put it off because I feel so uncoordinated when I tried it in the past.

    In the next 6 months I need to learn speed memorization. I’m starting chiropractic school soon and it would help alot to be able to quickly memorize anatamy.

  53. I would love to be able to achieve a full lotus stretch (knees to the floor) and to be able to lean forward and touch my head to the ground from it. I want Eddie Bravo level flexibility.

  54. I want to hack time management. I’ve read most of the popular programs and I have the apps, but they don’t stick. What helps you?

    1. Me too, time management but energy management…. how to manage energy levels during the day, how to navigate them….

      1. Hi Victoria,

        You might have already read this book, but if not, I definitely recommend it. It sounds like the exact goal you’re describing: “The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal” by Jim Loehr.

  55. You have changed my life. I thank you.

    You’ve probably read enough comments to know that’s often a preface to “here’s how f/u you are”. Not where I’m going with this but as I watched the video I felt compelled to comment and tell you what I’m seeing.

    Tim, you have to hack presentation skills and master the art of public presentations.

    I’ve read your books, you have the only blog I regularly visit, and I’m building a business that could be huge while using many of your principles. I know you well and I know what you’ve accomplished. So when I find myself drifting off halfway through your video I am able to forgive you and move on to something else. I really, really wanted to know what was coming next but in the tension of how best to spend the next ten minutes I knew that continuing to the end of the video was not the right choice.

    Why does it matter? Elon Musk is terrified of public speaking. That hasn’t stopped him, right?

    Here’s why it matters. Elon Musk builds rockets and cars among other things. You, on the other hand, teach how to learn and master a skill. When you stand up in public and bore us to death you display your inability to do the very thing that you teach. If you are going choose to present publicly about mastery then you MUST model it, right? If you don’t it causes, in a reasonable person, doubt that your systems work at all.

    For someone like me who knows how well they work I can let go of the whole problem, step away and move on to the next interesting thing that you have to tell me. For those who don’t know you that well I imagine they just leave.

    Learn to present as well as you cook or learn languages, my friend.

    Thank you for everything.

    1. He can’t be awesome at everything. The 80/20 rule doesn’t allow him to be. So how bout a break for the person giving us new hope.

  56. Sell my self-designed electronics ‘gadgets’ online.

    I design little electronics products (www.cloudsensor.us) and would love to sell those (more) successfully.

      1. Hi Tyler,

        I use something called Arduino. This is an open source hard- and software platform that allows one to start really simple with a blinking LED and move up to sensors, networking, displays and more.

        Just surf to arduino.cc and started reading, buy a book or read my short tutorial on how to get started at hwstartup.wordpress.com.


  57. DJ-ing and Piano.

    The two sort of go hand in hand for me. Being able to mix, and doing so in a club or on a big stage, that would be life dream come true. Piano is more for just me, though it would be awesome to produce music. Im a big fan of the electronic music scene and I always thought it would be great to pick up a melody from a song I like and just freestyle with it, just to do it.

  58. I would love to learn to play the piano. I played a bit when I was between the ages of 12 and 13. I am 41.

    So far I have two concerns:

    1) haven’t been able to find a suitable instructor in NYC

    2) time to practice – married 2 kids

    1. I suffer from neither problem — my issue is the bland songs that most tutorials take you through to “learn the basics”. I simply can’t get into it by having to play “chop sticks” over and over.

  59. 1. I desperately want to have a successful business. I have tried many times (since 1995 – I’m 41) and for reasonably long period of time. I guess the main problem could be; a. not having a mentor and b. I have not stuck to it for long enough. (Why is it so difficult to find a mentor? People I meet around the world are just not inspiring)

    2. I want to be able to contact easily App-Developers to be able to start a App business.

  60. Attraction!

    I’m a full on tech nerd that want’s the skills to pull model-beauty women.

    Please don’t forward me to the PUA scene — that’s like forwarding someone who wants to lose fat to a common bodybuilding forum (too much conflicting info, opinions etc) instead of something like the 4 hour body.

    What’s the equivalent for attraction?

    1. Technically it is PUA stuff, but I HIGHLY recommend the book “Rules of the game” by Neil Strauss. It’s a 30 day step by step book covering things like speaking more slowly, dressing better and how to begin conversations without coming off as a creep as well as a lot more. You can find it for ~$10 on amazon.

    1. Do them separately. Good MMA classes are harder to find than good BJJ and Muay Thai, and anyway, trying to learn grappling while someone hits you will push you right out of the Learning Zone and into the Panic Zone (where you don’t learn anything).

  61. You asked. Skills I wish I had learned in the order I would try to learn them today, which is different than the order of importance of the impact they would have had on my life

    1 Speed reading (I will try the referenced link for training after these comments)

    2 Remembering names with ease

    3 Touch typing (I am 61 and when I was in school in Europe no typing was taught. Despite all writing I do and a past life as a programmer, I never got it done – go figure. Probably because it is a long and tedious process?)

    4 Play an instrument like piano, sax, accordion (I learned to play the harmonica, but too limited in use)

    5 Speak Chinese (I speak English, Italian French Spanish but they are all similar. Chinese or Japanese would be really different and the future will speak English and Chinese.)

    Great post. Thank you.

  62. Tim,

    I was at a presentation with the head of marketing for a Fortune 500 company recently and she mentioned that she was interested in stepping up their game on social media, etc. She also happens to be head of the local Princeton Club. I mentioned you and your unique skill set and thought you should explore this idea. Anyway, please let me know if you want to learn more and or how she can contact you to discuss. Much appreciated, George

  63. How to make and write a song (lyircs and instrumental) that would make the billboard 100.

    Can you reverse engineer something like music…and then. Make really good music as a result….can lyrics be reverse engineered?

    Next six months?

    Sales and marketing (direct response)


  64. I’ve wanted to play drums for a long time and even have a kit. I can play a few songs, but I need way better stick control before I go further. I have tried to find a way to optimize practicing for that before I begin as the majority of my free time is being spent undertaking learning to program for a career change, which takes precedence. So most of the time I just prefer to have fun and play along to songs, even though I know I need to put in real practice to advance.

  65. Need advice from Tim or someone on Book-writing.

    I am writing a book on Dating. I am consulting a lot of books, audios and videos for the 16 chapters. I am a slow writer. Focus is a major concern.

    What are some of the tips to finish it in a week?

    I have written 350 pages, I have 100 more to write.



  66. I plan to go to medical school soon. I’d very much like to deconstruct the curriculum and coursework. Any ideas when it comes to curriculum or “book learning”?

    1. You will one day be responsible for human lives and you want to “hack” medical school? God help us all. Please try studying.

      1. Haha! I’m not looking for an easy way through med school. I’m looking for ways to improve my personal ability to retain knowledge instead of the typical way of cramming before exams and forgetting (i.e. shooting vasopressin in each nostril and studying for an hour immediately before the exam).

        1. The PASS program in Champaign, IL offers a course to take before starting med school. It helps organize your thoughts before you get too overwhelmed your first day of classes. I did the board review program and thought Dr. Francis was incredible…really helps puts things into context rather than memorizing a million facts and forgetting about it after the test.

          Learning how to speed read is also very helpful. Good luck!

        2. Hi Michael,

          I would recommend memorization techniques. I read a fantastic book, Moonwalking With Einstein, which outlines mnemonic devices to master memory (he learned this method and competed in the US memory championships with no previous experience). He learned to memorize a deck of cards in minutes.



  67. Uhm.. have tried to post before didn’t work hopefully this time it does:

    A skill I’ve put off doing is memory improvements in the short and medium term time frames, and hand in hand with that I’ve put off becoming supremely organized

    In order to use whatever system that might be develope I first need inputs, and not re-remembering something that occured to me that I’d like to get done, within say the next month, means any perfect organization system would fail me, without first having good short and medium term memory and then having a great organizational ability / emergent system for getting things done.

  68. Computer programming. It seems so incredibly useful nowadays, but I have two concerns:

    1. It seems like some absolutely love sitting at a computer for 12-hour timespans doing nothing but coding. As much as too love Mountain Dew, I don’t feel I could compete with that level of enthusiasm. A few hours, sure, but can’t do the marathons.

    2. Not sure how much of a disadvantage I’d be having majored in finance & economics instead of computer science/systems engineering. Is it one of those skills that you can develop through reading a book and practicing, or does college truly provide heightened training?

    1. 1. I wouldn’t let what others do stand in the way of what YOU want to do. (I rarely do long sprints and people like DHH mentioned above don’t advise it either)

      2. I went to school for mechanical engineering and am self taught in programming. It’s hard to find ME gigs, not as hard to find web dev gigs. When I tell people who went to school for programming that I’m not formally educated it doesn’t phase them because their rebuttal is ‘the language I learned in school doesn’t exist or isn’t popular so we’re on the same page’.

      My advice to beginners which relates to what Tim said is 2 fold. Become an expert at debugging and write code line by line as opposed to writing big chunks of logic. You’ll get less frustrated and the problems will be easier to solve.

  69. I would like to learn how to draw well. I’ve wanted to since I got into comics again as an adult. I’ve ZERO talent for it as well and nobody I can think of in my family can draw either but I’d love to learn. I’ve genuinely no idea how to get started.

    It’s also something you never hear about (that I know of anyway) someone not being able to draw and then becoming an amazing artist

    1. Step 1: Listen to Persian audio while you read a corresponding Persian text. There are a lot of good Persian audiobooks; you could use a language course like Assimil if you preferred (ignore the French base, as you already understand spoken Persian).

      Step 2: Write. Lang-8 is probably a good place.

  70. thanks for the speed reading reminder …… must follow link as i want to go back to read your 4hww book again (so much info in there that i can guarantee it will be useful exercise for me)

  71. Parkour! I have always loved it but I never get around to do it mainly because I have little time but also because I don’t know that many people practice it in my hometown, so I really don’t know how to approach this learning.

    In the next six months I would love to learn 3D Modeling. I have actually purchased a few books and courses but I haven’t had the time to do it yet

  72. I go to a LARP (Live Action Roleplaying Game) where we simulate the zombie apocalypse and hit each other with styrofoam weapons. It’s really fun and intense.

    I want to train myself to be better at combat, but I’m not sure what combat techniques to study because, unlike in most fighting styles, I’m not actually trying to hurt my opponent, just get past their defenses and give them a solid whack with my sword.

    I’d also love tips on how to train for combat backwards. Be on the defensive to train attacking? Do no stakes blocking drills?

  73. 1. I’ve been putting off learning portuguese for the past year. I’m going to the world cup next year and would like to get that nailed down before I go. Im fluent in Spanish and portuguese isn’t too different so would love to find something to go from one to the other. Any tips?

    2. I have set a goal to get barreled in surfing within the next 6 months. Not sure how I will accomplish that seeing as I live 10 hours from the ocean. I am a decent surfer just haven’t had the chance to get a barrel yet.

  74. Hi Tim,

    I’ve been putting off achieving my new goals. I used your Framework:

    Decronstruction: easy



    Stakes: easy

    I think Selection is the most hard one, because you have to test things out. Most people don’t test things out or they don’t know how to test (including me), because many people aren’t that adventures and don’t like to take risks.

    I am a little bit stuck here! Does anybody have any suggestions, how to test effectively off achieving their goals.

  75. Well, I would like to learn how to build that 4HRWW business that doesn’t need me to operate, costs nada to start, and gets me making that 75k a year. So far, no ideas seem to be good enough……… its that creativity thing that this numbers guy seems to struggle with. Ah well….

    1. Do you know Microsoft Excel well? That is a highly demanded skill and if you can teach it in a new/different way. You might be surprised about earning $75k/year.

      What do you want to LEARN? As Tim mentions in the 4HWW, learn the skill and teach others who are like you right now.

      Hope that helps

      1. I know Excel pretty well (don’t do VBA coding…yet). How do you see presenting this skillset? Video tutorials, ebook with “excel hacks”, etc? I’m an Informatics Nurse and have been deemed The Excel Guy in the hospital, which has its pros and cons. I’ve learned a few tricks/shortcuts on data mining that i won’t mind capitalizing on.

  76. 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.

  77. 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.

  78. 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.

  79. 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.

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

  81. 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.

  82. 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?

    : )

  83. 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.

  84. 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.

  85. 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.]

  86. 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.

  87. 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.

  88. 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!

  89. 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. 😉

  90. 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!

  91. Mathematical Topology and research level mathematics in general.

    Or more broadly, how to conduct high quality research.

  92. 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!

  93. 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.

  94. 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.

  95. 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).

  96. 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…

  97. 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.

  98. 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!!!

    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.)

  99. 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

  100. 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.

  101. 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.

  102. 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

  103. 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. 😀

  104. “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.

  105. 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?

  106. 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!!!

  107. 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.


  108. 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.

  109. 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?

  110. 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.

  111. 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.

  112. > 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?”

  113. 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

  114. 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)

  115. 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… 😉

  116. 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

  117. 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.

  118. 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)

  119. 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,


  120. 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

  121. 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.

  122. 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.

  123. 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.

  124. 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. 🙂

  125. 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.

  126. 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.

  127. 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.”

  128. 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?

  129. 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?

  130. 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.

  131. 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.

  132. 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?

  133. 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.

        1. 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 $$.

  134. 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.


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





  136. 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.

  137. 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.”

  138. 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!


  139. 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.

  140. 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!

  141. 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?


  142. 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!

  143. 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!

  144. 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!

  145. 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.

  146. 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

  147. 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.



  148. 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.



  149. I would like to help, work in the corporate sector and have Attention Deficit. Forget important information easy, get bored with things that do not work and I am interested in something where these qualities are needed. As

    can alleviate the symptoms?

  150. Hi Guys,

    This is for those techies out there.

    Been struggling to learn Exchange Powershell Scripting. I would like that to be my first test before moving onto more exciting things 🙂



  151. I used to draw a lot as a kid. Id love to learn to get good at it quickly. It’s one of those skills that being ok at gives no proud feelings lol. Either you’re good or not. I’ve tried to think of ways to apply previously stated 80/20 rules to this and most of them I don’t think applies. If anybody has any advice other than ”practice a lot” I’d LOVE to hear it

  152. Hi Tim,

    Bought your book, based on the subtitle,learning anything. just finished viewing

    your talk, and am really excited to try using your plan. I am a frustrated golfer been playing for 30 yrs, and have been between 10 and 15 hdcp for the past 15 yrs. i have taken dozens and dozens of lessons, read book after book, including my favourite, and yours Hogan’s 5 fundamentals, yet am frustratingly stuck, i am resonably intelligent, yet what I have been doing for years is a sign of insanity, could you or one of your readers point me in an alternative direction or give me a starting point, based on DiSSS.

    Thank you Paul Martin

  153. Dear mr. Ferris

    I was wondering if you could give me your keep opinion on applying these mastery principles in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournaments.

    I know Marcelo Garcia uses a simple system of strong fundamentals and this why his students are successful also adding the amount of time they spend training.

    But what I have noticed is many competitors bring to the table one small system of moves that are fairly unfamiliar and new and are able to practice that to a point where they are winning or have a great advantage.

    This could shorten the time needed to train to build a higher level skillet because the opponents are unfamiliar with the attacks.

    Examples would be Eddie bravo when he starting the Twister or Rafael mendes recent years when he start using the berimbolo. Anytime someone introduces a new effective technique it gives them and advantage for a short while.

    Do you think there is a way to do something like this? And are there any other things I can look into for mastery skills of body movement mechanics and move muscle memory.

    Thank for your time,


  154. BJJ I know Tim is a practitioner and would like to know how he applied his system to jiu jitsu and how it can help me learn jiu jitsu

  155. I’m trying to design a meta learning program for investing. Any ideas on how I can apply tim’s rules of deconstruction, compression, etc. best?

  156. I really want to do whatever I can to improve my memory. I see people memorize a stack of cards in 5 minutes and it just blows my mind. I’d like to just be able to remember the people I meet at a networking event. I bet there are some mnemonic techniques I can implement, but this really makes it seem like it won’t be as hard as I think. Great video, thank you so much for sharing it!

  157. Ever since I began Chinese I wondered if there was a more efficient way to memorize Chinese characters, and in the video, you mentioned deconstructing characters. What ways are there to do this, and of them, which would you recommend?

  158. Two questions I am 59 love reading but I am not overly quick and need to jump around to remember names etc( a specially in science fiction ) this was a problem even when I was young I have a nine year old son in grade four and he is a good student but I can see that he struggles to retain info he is a c+ student and a good contributor in class according to his teachers. Would your system help him( he doesn’t see a problem and I don’t want to be one of those pushy fathers)

  159. Ok. The cooking thing seemed overly complicated, time consuming and used to many resources that most people do not have access to. So, I decided to try to learn a skill using the principles to “feel” the process for myself.

    The skill: Bartending

    The 80/20:

    1) The pour. Everything revolves around this and (using the “start with a win” principle) seems the easiest to learn.

    2) Recipes- I will Google “100 most popular bar drinks” and “100 hundred bar drinks every bartender should know”. I will omit single liquor/mixer drinks (i.e. Jack and coke)

    3) I will divide into groups using main (first) liquors ( vodka, gin, ect.) and into groups within using the number of liquors in each drink. (i.e. vodka drinks with two liquors in one group, three liquors in another)

    4) I will then use the site “Flashcard Machine” to develop cards for each group.

    5) As I study the cards I will “pour” the drinks. I will use liquor bottles filled with water to simulate the pour of each liquor in the recipe.

    There are of course things that may seem important that have been omitted such as cutting garnish but as a server I don’t think that the transition should be difficult. Also, things that will be trained at any new establishment that you work at, how to run their register and how they set the well and speed rails, are cut to save time.

    Good luck to me. LOL!

    But, Still I wonder won’t skills like learning to snowboard or scuba dive be very complicated to decode?

    Your thoughts please.

  160. Hi All,

    Thanks a lot for this very useful videos and I am 100% sure that always there will be a better way to do things and continual improvement is the biggest room in the world.

    Just a small suggestion you may replace deconstruction by decomposition.

    Best regards

    Hassan Farrouh

  161. Mine has always been learning my mother tongue. I never learned it as a kid, and this was a source of much ridicule growing up. Still gets to me till this day. I guess its just like Tim’s fear of swimming, which congrats are in order for overcoming that.

  162. PLEASE recruit some collaborators to apply your accelerated learning method to drawing and painting (The Four-Hour Artist?). I’m sure a TON of people would be very interested in that.

    1. OMG how I would love this! Its exactly where my mind went, and what I’m wanting to apply the 80/20 rule to! If Tim responds, please let me know, as I’m eager to learn the essentials too.

  163. I want to learn IB level math in a week, or even an entire syllabus in a week, it’s kind f urgent so i have to do that. Is there any way i can do it?

  164. In the next few months I’m going to be going back to business school. To achieve my goals I need to:

    a) get a GPA of 3.8+

    b) Network extensively

    c) Participate in case competitions and pitches

    Everyone I have spoken to says the combination of the above is extremely difficult to achieve and that it is very competitive. For this reason I’m trying to figure out how to maximize my overall performance without burning out. Any tips/resources/advice is greatly appreciated.

  165. I want to learn MS excel. Can’t get myself to do it to save my life. Just hate the monotonous boxes all across. Can you help me learn it in a few days? Would really really appreciate it.

  166. Learning new languages… started learning arabic using pimsleur and also Coding languages (html, css) and slowly starting to learn javascript. (using codecademy)

    I love it but I wonder if I’ll ever be able to finish it in time (The school-year starts at the end of August, so with the teaching, correcting, etc, I don’t think I’ll be able to do all that I planned to do, including

    – building my own website,

    -starting an independant project ( to eventually make some money)

    -having those mini-retirements while making enough money to make sure my son is living a great life,etc.

  167. Touch typing! This would save me so much time. I’ve tried a few online versions. I’m wondering if it is more about learning words, sentences rather than fingers on certain keys. I type a LOT in my job ad write a bit so this would be very helpful.

  168. I’d like to learn how to draw. I want to be a game designer and I feel like drawing is an amazing my way to express my ideas graphically. I understand that it is probably going to take me years to master the craft (if it takes me less, great), but I’m asking for a plan for my baby-step beginner journey plan.

  169. I have put off learning Spanish. Unfortunately I have bought into the idea that the older you get the more difficult it is to learn. Trying to get past that.

  170. I’ve never posted a comment online before but I just felt I had to thank you Tim.

    I’ve just graduated from an undergraduate degree at the University of Cambridge and your learning system was my saviour in my final exams. Because of dissertation and coursework commitments I was left with only four weeks before the exams to learn four broad subjects (which for me seemed an impossibly short amount of time). By deconstructing, selecting, and sequencing etc. the material as per your system I was not only able to learn all the subjects within the short time available but learn them to such a high standard that I was able to get a First in my final exams – the highest grade you can get at UK universities, one notoriously hard to achieve at Cambridge, and a grade I’d never gotten close to in previous years. I know that result wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t used your system.

    So, for everyone else reading this, I can tell you that Tim’s learning system really works! And Tim, I owe you a great debt of gratitude. Thank you so much for sharing your work and for doing what you do – you’ve not only been my saviour but an inspiration!

  171. HTML, CSS and possibly Javascript — because I don’t want to be limited by what comes OOB with a visual editor when I put up my own hosted WordPress site (versus a .com site). And I’m definitely looking for acceleration because this is not something that is in my best interests to dedicate too much time to.

  172. Hi Tim.

    Of all the great stuff you’ve learn’t and discovered – particularly around learning – do you have any material or thoughts on how to impart this wisdom / mindset onto our children at an early age. If the next generation can have a healthy accelerated learning path what an even more amazing future they could have – and what a boost for humanity.

  173. Thanks Tim, this is very helpful I am 40 years old and going back into IT, specifically Information Security. I’m self studying and working toward increasing my knowledge for employment as well passing certifications. I knew through your books you have learned so many different areas quickly and master them.

    I went through your video which is great to understand your DiSSS strategy

    Di – Deconstruction

    S – Selection

    S – Sequencing

    S – Steaks (consequences)

    (is this correct, I ask because I thought I missed the “i”)

    I’m just trying to figure out a strategy that I can learn the information and like you mentioned become the top 5% in my industry.

    Thank you Tim

  174. I would absolutely love to learn to play the piano. I have a fairly inexpensive keyboard with no stand that I look at from time to time in hopes of getting inspired to start learning. Then I think of the huge mountain I have ahead of me and I put it away for another life…

  175. I love the idea of 80/20 rule, and want to apply it to learning to paint on canvas with brushes and acrylics. Impressionism style, not realism. I’d love to hear if anyone else has created a 20% skill set to learn to paint well….in order to reap the 80% of benefits.

  176. Any advice on how to use this method to learn a gymnastics move such as the planche? The discussion on brazillian jiu jitsu and krav maga have been interesting!

  177. I’m working on front-end web development and digital marketing. Mostly building landing pages. At least, that’s the first step. I have found myself living in Ubud, Indonesia with a few thousand dollars, an internship at a coworking space, unlimited internet and time and a guy who wants me to learn these skills so he can start paying me money.

    I need to learn how to construct an effective landing page that is aesthetically pleasing and creates results.

    I freeze under pressure and want to slam my head in an oven door but my indonesian house doesn’t have an oven. Let me know your advice amigos.

  178. Hi I’m struggling to obtain a certification in CISCO CCNA, Is there easier ways of learning content that has so much of content. Subnet and superneting is my main problem.

    Thank you

  179. Touch Typing!

    Touch Typing. Simple yet abused. I took one extra yr of shop class instead of computer class in 8th grade. Never learned to touch type properly. I hunt and peck.

    What is worse, is that I work for a FinTech startup. My peers type at blazing speeds. I’m left looking down at my laptop in meetings, missing much of the delivered message as I take notes etc. First, learn to touch type, second, learn to avoid these meetings per Tim’s advice.

  180. Hello everyone. I would love to use these techniques to master stenography. I have already started the course however I am finding it difficult understanding how to apply the Diss to my situation. Or perhaps I just don’t understand, (sorry). Can anyone help me? Especially with the deconstruction part. I would love to be able to accelerate my progress as I have had to stop for a month do to injury. Now that I have returned, I am finding it difficult to get back into it. And you did say that this method can be applied to any skill.

  181. Hi Tim, I need to learn programming language for my research, since one year, I am stuck can’t take one step forward. I am going through your book, but still can’t find any enthusiasm for my need. Please suggest me and help me out through this situation. Thanks

  182. I’m trying really hard to apply the principles in ‘The 4 hour chef’ to professional wrestling but am getting overwhelmed by the volume of content in the ever-growing sport/show. I’m trying to make a one pager like in the book but am trying to find a relevant example to help the process. More on the lines of Sport, Martial arts or Dance if they have been done. An example has probably been right in front of my nose but I’m too daft to find it.

  183. Programming… I have a awesome idea, but the skill of programming is lacking… I am now seriously considering diving into it.. can anyone recommend a good entry point?

  184. Great post. I was wondering whether and how these principles could be used to play the violin. I already have a couple of years of learning the guitar under my belt. Any tips would be appreciated!!

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