Three Steps to Mastering Any Skill

Come, grasshopper. Have some tea. Today I teach you the three steps to mastery, as taught to me by the great master, Rabbi Daniel Lapin. Now take the tea cosy off your head and pay attention.


There are three steps to mastering anything. Golf, cooking, giving effective presentations. Kung Fu. Leadership. To become a master, these are the steps you must follow.

  1. Learn. You have to go through the motions and get the basics under your belt. Becoming Tiger Woods begins with a tee, a ball, a club, approaching the ball, and a swing. Becoming a great leader begins with reading, studying, seminars. Conferences. Introspection and reflection.
  2. Understand. Before you can proceed, faith is required. You cannot invest the time and energy it will take to achieve mastery unless you have faith that the techniques you are learning will get you there. Understanding how your grip affects your swing, how your stance affects ball trajectory. These things give you faith enough to...
  3. Practice. Armed with the faith that your knowledge is good and your techniques sound, it's time to build up muscle memory. When you step up to the ball under pressure, you don't want to have to consciously think about every technique you've learned. Likewise, when giving a presentation or holding a meeting or counseling a difficult team member, you want your skills to be trained in, running on autopilot, as natural as walking.

These steps are in order for a reason. You cannot simply learn the forms and then practice them without understanding, for your results will not result in mastery. Neither can you simply learn and understand without practice, for the patterns will never become automatic. Complete mastery only comes when all three steps are followed, in proper order.

Now drink your tea, grasshopper, and get to work. You've got some crumbs on your tunic, there....

Have you tried to skip steps on the road to mastery? How did that work out for you? Add a comment and tell us your story here

Image CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Luis Milla