In every field or area of life, you find yourself, you need to develop skills in order to succeed. Skill development is just as important for those engaged in skilled labor as it is for those who offer unskilled labor (though it is called unskilled labor). It takes a lot to develop and skills because at every level or instance you will have to be more committed than you have always been. While developing skills and abilities is quite challenging, you can definitely make it through when you know the right steps to take. If it were easy, everyone will be a master at what they do. We all have specific gifts in different areas. Music, arts, Science and Technology, you name it.
The average person holds the idea that those who are excellent at what they do have the advantage of gifting which makes things very easy for them. That idea does not even amount to a half-truth. There is just one principal difference between those who have become excellent in their fields and those who are yet amateurs. Diligence for skill development and attainment of personal growth goals. Even people who have less inclination to certain things will become better at it if they “pay the price” every star pays. To help you come out of the dark, improve skills and stand a better chance of developing your skills and becoming a master at what you do, here are some important tips.
Start by choosing what you are really passionate about
Though you can engage in skill development activities in whatever field you may want to, if you put your mind to it, less effort will be required for developing skills and abilities in something you are passionate about. As a matter of fact, even the challenges of developing skills will seem less difficult when you are passionate about what you do. Passion is a requirement for enhancing personal development skills. That is part of the power of passion. It reduces the mental stress and makes effort seem less challenging.
When things become challenging and it seems difficult to pull through until you master what you do, the only thing that will ease the stress is the passion you have for it. So perhaps you have already chosen what you want to do and have set personal growth goals. If your decision was not made based on passion, it is not too late to switch and concentrate on something you are more passionate about.
Develop a spirit of curiosity
The most skillful people are always the most inquisitive about skill development activities. Developing skills and abilities should start from a desire to understand how things are done. When you see someone skilled at playing the piano for example and know that is your passion, you need to fan to flame that desire to know how the person you admire does it. Sad to say, but most talented people never develop their gifts because they keep admiring those who have developed theirs and end at admiration. You must go past admiration to improve skills. Such people ignore the fact that those they admire now were once just amateurs like themselves. They too had to look at some other person, desire to know what they know and use that desire to their advantage. When you are curious and really want to know something, you will always find a way to know. Curious people are better at making use of personal development skills. Like they say, when there is a will, one will always look for a way.
Get and improve your knowledge first
In its simplest definition, skill is knowledge applied and mastered over a period. To be skillful is to master knowledge application,s especially of personal development skills. Therefore if there is no knowledge, there can be no skill. Once you have been able to figure out where your passion truly lies and have a desire to know more, make the effort to actually learn. Get books, make observations and take notes. Be the person who does not let details escape his or her attention.
No matter how much you know, there is always more to learn. And of course the more you learn the better you can develop your skills at what you do. Putting in the effort required to really learn is one thing that keeps the benefit away from many people. There are always more books, magazines and article to read. And the interesting part of it is that no matter how many you have already read, it will never be enough. Information keeps getting better. Things are changing and knowledge evolves with those changes. As a result, only those who are willing to update their knowledge on whatever area of life they are concerned with will actually make it in life.
Be inspired by role models
It usually takes looking at the masterpiece of some other person who is an expert in using the skill you admire to stir up the desire to know more and even motivate you to put in the effort that is required. Getting inspiration from others helps even in self-development activities. Such inspiration could even help you set personal growth goals. You should have role models. In every field, there are several people who are extremely skillful at what they do. All you need is a little effort to know who these people are and get in touch with them physically or otherwise. I am an artist and I really enjoy portrait portraits. I am usually very thrilled to see people draw such realistic drawing. It stirs up the desire to know more and the passion motivates me to actually take action and do what is necessary to know more.
You cannot effectively improve skills by living like an island. You need inspiration and that inspiration will only be given by someone who really knows what they are doing and is just as skillful as you will like to be.
Get a mentor
Once you are able to find someone or people you admire and are inspired by, you need to get a mentor. It will be comparably more difficult to develop skills and abilities without a mentor. People hardly appreciate the importance of mentors and it is just one reason why we have so many mediocre people in different works of life. These people are either ignorant of or have neglected the importance and role of mentors for personal development skills. There are so many advantages to having a mentor and truly, having a mentor does not really help the person you choose to learn from. It helps you develop your skills and become a better person.
One of the advantages of having a mentor is that you get direction on what to do every step of the way. Those who have mentors to help them develop their skills hardly get lost or distracted in the process. When you have a mentor, you have someone you can call for direction and instruction when things are not clear to you and you can be sure that he or she is going to respond.
Next, mentors keep you from errors. They keep you focused on the personal goal or target you may have set for yourself, which is to improve skills through self-development activities. Sometimes, people get engaged in developing one skill or the other and in the process they are distracted because there was no one to guide and keep them on the right track. So you see an artist who is making progress in developing his skill as a sculptor but he or she is constantly distracted by maybe music or some other thing they are not even good at. Even when it comes to realizing what your gifting and talents are, a mentor will be of great assistance. Remember the phrase “jack of all trades, master of none”?? It is a perfect description for people who are not really clear on what particular area they are gifted in. So they keep chasing shadows and never attain personal growth goals. Doing so many things at a time and never attaining excellence in any of those things. It is a lot easier to develop your skills to the best they can be and achieve excellence in your career by simply focusing on one thing.
Since the road of skill development is littered with several difficulties and challenges, there is a need for someone who can encourage you to move on when things become very tough. This is one important role of a mentor so many people have neglected and have not been able to make it at the end. You see, developing skills and abilities will demand time, strength, money, diligence and sometimes it will seem like you just can't take it any more. You may then decide to settle for what you already know and become comfortable with the level you are already in. Another reason why there are so many amateurs in every field. The going will definitely get tough and when it does, you better have someone who can encourage you from a sincere heart and with commitment and devotion to your course.
Mentors also know exactly which way to go about developing your talent so that you minimize waste of time and other resources. That is knowledge gotten from experience and a mentor must have paid the price of experience to know what he knows now. On your part, there will be no need to go through experiences that will lead to failure and regrets. With a mentor, you know what the right decision is and will make things right the first time. Like I often say, experience is a better tutor but the fees are too high for wise men to pay. There are certainly some things you can only learn through experience. Sometimes nothing can take the place of experience but there are other things that can be learned and practiced just by meeting someone who has gone through those experiences. Learn from your experiences when you must, but always learn from the experiences of others.
It cannot happen without hard work
Finally, we have come to a big point. Hard work is something you must embrace and get use to if you are going to make use of personal growth goals and develop your skills to their very best. In the circle or club of experts in every field, there is no place for people who want the easy way out. There is no space for those who have no guts to set their minds to accomplish something and do it. There is one way to become better at it. Diligence! So many people in your field fancy the thought of being famous in that field. Most people want their name to be synonymous with success. They wish they could be referenced when people talk about record-breaking achievements in their careers. Ah, if wishes were horses, beggars will ride. Action, persistent, consistent action is one quality that differentiates amateurs form experts in most cases. It is not that one is more talented than the other, or that one has better opportunities. The main difference is the fact that one is willing to work beyond working hours, put in more effort than is convenient and keep doing all that every day.
One advantage of hard work is that it makes tasks which once seemed tedious look simpler. Even challenges cease to look as challenging as they once were to the person who has learned to work hard even when they don't feel like it. It is not the work that changes or the methods that even become better. Something more important happens. The hardworking man develops a better attitude towards his work. The several hours put into skill development builds an inner resilience that nothing else can defeat. The most important change takes place within the hardworking man. He becomes harder inside, thus is more efficient with self-development activities. It is more difficult for people who have mastered the art of hard work to be discouraged when challenges come up. You just have to make up your mind and commit yourself to hard work if you are going to become a master at your skill.
Be consistent and persistent
I must reiterate the importance of consistence and persistence for skill development or improvement. Without practicing these, you will find yourself caught in a particular spot for longer than you expected. More so, things will easily become boring and increasingly challenging if you do not build an attitude of persistence and consistency.
So how long is it going to take until you become a master at what you do? Well, you must begin by making up your mind to stay committed for as long as it takes. Patience is the virtue that always succeeds in the test of time. How long are you willing to wait, to go on until you achieve what you desire? You will need to exercise patience every step of the way else you may give up and settle for mediocrity.
With all the challenges you will have to face, there is the tendency to fail in a few attempts, or more. It is part of the price of learning that you go through and conquer the pain of failing. Failing never made anyone a failure. Giving up does. Patience and determination are a powerful twin required for skill development. This also means that, while you are patient, don’t just go through the motions. If you fail at a certain point, put in more effort. That is determination. The will to go on and do better even when you do not seem to realize any progress. By patience, even water masters the art of wearing away and dividing rocks. Make up your to never back out until you are where you planned to be before starting. In the end, when you finally come to join the league of skillful men in your field, you will discover that they also had to go through all what you went through. When it comes to skill development, no one is going to pass it off as a gift to some other person. You have to go through the process for yourself and that is why you have need of patience and determination.
No more waste of time. Make everyday count
You will be right if you said one main difference between an expert in your field and yourself is time. The time they have spent or invested in practicing and working to make their talents as enviable and admirable as it is now. If there is a limit to how much time you have to develop your skills, then there is a limit to how far you can go or how well you can develop your skills and make them worth the admiration and desire of others.
That said, it imperative you make up your mind to never waste time. Make every minute you have count for personal development skills. If you fail to put in five minutes into skill development today, you can be sure that you will still have to do it the next day. However, if one is to look at how soon you developed your skill, you will be five minutes late. That is five minutes late in exposing your refined talent to the world. Five minutes late in making an impact on your world or sphere of influence. Five minutes late in touching the lives of people with what you do.
The next issue is taking your opportunities seriously. Many talented people have gone to their graves with yet unrefined talent because they neglected their opportunities. We are all given opportunities in life. To make things better. To learn better, perform better and present better. We have several opportunities which come to help shape and sharpen our skills. The problem is most times these opportunities are ignored or even hated because they come dressed as work.
People who have a record of missing or neglecting opportunities usually console themselves with the vain idea that others who have succeeded had better opportunities to make it, or were more talented. If you are in high school for example and look forward to being an expert piano player, for example, do not neglect to practice with a ban when you have the opportunity to. Even if you are not going to actually pound the piano keys, build your passion by watching others do it. And if you get the opportunity to play at a small event, don’t despise the opportunity for want of a bigger audience. The more of such opportunities you neglect, the less likely you are to master the skills you so admire. So as you determine to make every moment count, make up your mind to also seize every opportunity, no matter how small and make it count.
Make investments for skill development
You have been told to invest time for skill development and with regards to this, the amount and quality of time investment will determine the returns with regards to skill mastery. Aside from time though, you must be prepared to invest money and any other resource you may have at your disposal. These would help take you to the place of skill mastery faster.
However be warned that if you have nothing but time to invest, make the most of it.
Don’t let your dreams go unrealized because you lacked money or any other thing you consider a necessity to improve skills. Those who have time have the capital required for skill development. Start with that and be faithful. Everything else will fall into place with time. Those who are masters today have had their moments too. They had a chance to give up, but they chose wisely. That is why they deserve your admiration today. They’ve earned it! You can too!