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How to Learn Hard Concepts

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
Posted in Advice by Joel Gross

I have struggled with finding good ways to teach myself hard concepts.  By hard concepts, I mean skills that take multiple weeks or months or even years to become proficient at.  For example, C# programming, playing the guitar, sex, and flag football.

So what are the 4 steps to becoming a GRANDMASTER of any new hard concept?

  1. Lay out the overall structure
  2. Break down the structure into step by step pieces
  3. Use books or videos to help you internalize those pieces
  4. Practice

Turning yourself into a superstar pro on any topic can be done, but it takes time and effort and perseverance.

How can you make it easier on yourself to persevere in learning a new topic?

Do things that FORCE yourself to touch the topic a little bit every day:

  • Take classes
  • Tell your friends what you are learning
  • Set aside a certain time every day for learning
  • Find people very interested in the same topic and spend time with them

What do you want to be an expert in?