I believe anyone is capable of doing absolutely anything. The only thing ever holding someone back however, is themselves. Thinking that there’s “just no way” you can pick up the guitar or learn to knit is what stops you. Not simply being inexperienced. But if you can learn how to teach yourself skills, you can do anything. Effective learning is a skill everyone can make use of.
When learning something new, it is important to remember that you most likely won’t be a professional at the skill you want to learn right away. No one is. Critiquing yourself and learning from your practice is what results in progress. After each session of practice, reflect on what could have gone better. Where did you make mistakes? What was the cause of those mistakes? Keep those things in mind in the next session and actively work on those areas.
Next, you need to simply stick to it. Tasks will become harder as you push yourself farther into your new discipline, and that’s okay. Understanding that it’s not supposed to be easy is crucial. The cycle of practice >reflect >progress will never really end. A professional in any field will never cease practicing their skill.
The final portion of effective learning is the drive to want what you’re leaning. If you’re passionate about something, the odds are you’ll be good at it if you genuinely try. If you don’t care to learn guitar, why would you want to blister your fingers for it?
Cody Ryan Martell is a senior at Eastern Michigan University. He is a photographer for the University Marketing department, a content director for Modern Animal Marketing, and a dog enthusiast.