To be proficient or not to be, what makes the difference? According to Josh Kaufman in The First 20 Hours, it only takes twenty hours. My reasoning for picking up this book was Josh’s first book The Personal MBA along with his TED Talk. I trust Josh based off an analysis of his TED Talk, but this book just felt regurgitated. In an attempt to monetize his TED talk. I would recommend just watching his TED Talk; it will take less of your time and get the get the same point across.

I did enjoy every topic that he covered; typing, programming, yoga, go, the ukulele, and windsurfing. If you struggle with starting new things for whatever reason, you will probably rate this book higher than me.

Here are his top 10 rules for rapid learning:

  1. “Choose a lovable project.”
  2. “Jump in over your head.” Be confused about what you are learning to make sure that you are learning at a good pace, then focus on what confuses you.
  3. “Identify mental models and mental hooks.” Mind maps and mnemonics, check out these two books; The Memory Book and Moon Walking with Einstein.
  4. “Imagine the opposite of what you want.” Simulate the worst possible outcome and how can you mitigate it.
  5. “Talk to practitioners to set expectations.” Mentors are priceless.
  6. “Eliminate distractions in your environment.” Deep Work.
  7. “Use spaced repetition and reinforcement for memorization.”
  8. “Create scaffolds and checklists.”
  9. “Make and test predictions.”
  10. “Honor your biology.”

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