Becoming good at something you don’t know

Sindhu Murugavel
3 min readSep 9, 2020

It makes inherent sense to become good at doing something you know. But how can you be good at something you don’t know?

Photo by Daniel Mingook Kim on Unsplash

Why?

First of all, let me convince you why you need to excel at something you are unfamiliar at. In our day-to-day jobs, we are posed with things that are new. The situation demands you to do it whether you like it or not. In my opinion, it is better to put a positive spin on it rather than do it for the heck of it. Here’s how you make something constructive than being a drag.

— It’s nice to take up a challenge

Doing a very mundane job everyday — you start to doubt whether you have skills anymore. That is the point at which you become super saturated and feel stupid. You are desperate to prove to yourself how you are still a good learner. Enter, challenge!

— You get a rush:

Once you accept the challenge, you start to work on it. You spend hours and hours with a squirming stomach even though it’s lunch time and your favorite lunch is just an order away. All because of the interest and sudden brain adrenaline rush that causes you to keep looking up ways that can help the problem at hand. You won’t stop until you solve it.

— You learn something new:

This is a very important point. Even though something is irrelevant to you, doesn’t mean you can’t learn it. By doing this deep self woven learning you gather knowledge and value that you cannot put a price on. It might not help you tomorrow, but someday!

— Your self-esteem gets a boost:

Pick up something you don’t know and succeeding at it gives your self-esteem a whoop whoop!Once you accomplish this, you can safely restore faith in your brain cells and more importantly, in yourself.

How?

There are 5 key things to do if you’d like to become good at something you don’t know.

— Do your Search/Research

Google is your best friend. Google anything and everything. Beware of the web of links that might drench you in a world of unimportant or deviating solutions. Do not get lost in it. Always be subjective to your problem and look only for the thing you need.

— Spend time

Obviously you need to allocate time for a much focused search. Build blocks of uninterrupted time for this — I say “uninterrupted” because its naturally difficult to come back to a train of thought on something we know, so it would be much more painful to get back on track for something you barely know.

— Apply

Research might give you a good start on things but if you don’t put it to use then you are getting nowhere. Applying learnings can help imprint the right and wrong approaches to solving the problem in your head. This way you won’t go back and try something you already did and will not feel overwhelmed as well.

— Repeat

This step is the most difficult step. The above three points need to be iterated over and over again until the desired result is achieved.

Good luck!

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