How To Get Better At Anything: Immersion

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When I was 10 years old I picked up my first guitar, and I didn’t put it down for seven years. But there was one thing I couldn’t do: I couldn’t write a good song.

I went to weekly lessons to learn technique, theory, and how to read music. In high school and in college I played in various bands, and I loved learning new songs by talented famous musicians. 

My other friends were great at writing songs. Some were downright musical geniuses.  While I was more versed in technicality and theory than they were, their songwriting was impeccable. Some of the songs they created were the catchier than what you hear on the radio today.  

Now why is this? Because all they did was listen to hours and hours of the music they were trying to emulate, while I did not.  

Great songwriters are great because they immerse themselves in the music they want to sound like.   

I think that’s how most of us get better at what we want to do. Immersion is the name of the game. Formal lessons and practice are important, but nothing beats immersion. I think you can apply this to just about any new skill set you want to learn. 

Do you want to be a good writer? Practice grammar and write, but also read your favorite authors to see what makes them so good.

Do you want to learn a new language? Practice your vocabulary and grammar, but listen to music and watch movies in your target language while you’re doing it. 

And it doesn’t necessarily have to be mimicking a skill or technique of those who have come before us. You can take away their philosophies and become inspired by their tenacity. A great example is seeking inspiration through famous athletes. You may not be as good at football as Lionel Messi or a great boxer like Muhammad Ali, but you can learn from their work ethnic and apply it to your life.

This isn’t my personal philosophy. There is a science behind this way of thinking. 

If you want to be the best, you need learn from the best and be inspired by them. 

Go all in. Immerse yourself in whatever you desire to accomplish, and you won’t become good at what you do. You will become great.

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