On days when you feel especially low, you might find yourself thinking, "I feel like I'm not good at anything." You wonder why so many people are able to find their calling, but you can't find yours yet.
The problem is that these days, social media might trick you into thinking that learning new skills is just a matter of trying something and being instantly good at it. What you don't see is the hours of practice and work people put into the things they're good at. So is there a magic strategy for finding that missing skill and learning it fast? There is if you're a billionaire with tons of time.
But the good news is that regular people can learn new skills too. People with no talent are simply people who haven't found what they're good at yet. And that can be you. So if you want to learn how to be good at something, keep reading.
Why Am I Not Good at Anything?
There can be so many reasons that make you think you're not good enough. Regardless of what they are, they eventually come down to these five:
1. Work, work, work, work, work, work
You simply don't have time...
Women like men who have skills because only rich people have enough time to pursue their hobbies while letting others work for them. So a man with skills was mostly a man with lots of money and few hours to work, which leads us to a simple equation:
Too much work = less time to learn new skills
This may be false for some people, but it's true for the rest of them.
It's not easy to become good at anything when you work 40-50 hours a week and barely get time to rest and meet your friends. Unless you can free up some time to work on a new skill or unless you have enough resources to delegate, you may not have time or energy to cultivate skills.
2. Lack of urgency
It's cool that you want to become good with women or learn martial arts but that's not enough. Unless you have a burning desire up your ass asking you to move, you won't do it.
People often change or learn new skills right before the final whistle... Like losing weight before your brother's wedding or studying two days before the finals.
I remember when I decided to get shredded. I was always lean but never saw my six-pack abs. That's because there was no urgency.
It was only when I decided that I'm getting these abs before New Year's Eve with a do-it-or-die mentality that I got my abs.
To learn a new skill fast, ask yourself, "Why do I need to get better at X," back your reasoning with as many emotions as possible then set a fixed deadline and don't change it.
3. Lack of focus
"The world is not acting in our long-term benefit. Imagine you walk down the street and every store is trying to get your money right now; in your pocket you have a phone and every app wants to control your attention right now. Most of the entities in our lives really want us to make mistakes in their favor. So the world is making things very, very difficult."- Dan Ariely, bestselling author and Nobel Prize winner
The world isn't designed to make you succeed. That's a fact that you must swallow pretty fast. It's not because people are mean or the world is bad, it's just because attention is today's biggest commodity.
Facebook, Instagram, video games, and porn... the more attention you give to these distractions the less time you have to work on new skills. Worse, these sites provide so much dopamine you don't even want to work anymore because you're already being rewarded.
My best school years ever were way before I bought my first cellphone and computer.
(Yeah, I'm this old)
And I only realized this later. That's why I rarely work with my phone on, and I'm always productive this way. If you want to get better at important things, then you must learn to guard your focus and eliminate distractions.
4. Lack of motivation
As I said, too much porn and video games kill your desire to get better, especially with women. Why get better with women when you can watch them from the comfort of your bed?
That's probably the reason why millennials are having less sex today than their parents. Some claim it's because they raised their standards, but I call bullshit. I've seen so many guys spend months without sex and would hump a lizard if she shows cleavage. Unlike their grandpas who had to hustle to get a woman, today's guys aren't motivated enough to get women or learn anything of value.
Everything's easy and simple. If you want to hook up, you can go online and find a low-effort ONS. If you want to find a date, you can lower your standards and meet some random woman who'd give you the time of day.
This lack of motivation can turn into a habit. But don't worry because later I'll talk about how you can overcome this.
5. No cash
Some skills need cash in order to buy:
Some skills take time - and resources - to develop. That's why they say men peak around their early forties because that's the time they're the most resourceful.
For example, it's hard to learn to pick up women when you're young and still live in your parents' basement. It's not impossible, but it's so hard some men would delay it till they have enough money to move out.
And I didn't even mention the money you need to get tutoring. It's hard to find a mentor willing to help you for free. I know people who can transform your love and financial life in a couple of weeks, but they tag their services at five or six figures (some claim more).
Again, I don't mean that it's impossible to succeed for free, but what you save in money you'll have to pay for with time.
I’m Not Good At Anything… Yet
Now that we covered why you may not be good at anything yet, you may tell yourself, "I have no skills to start with." But the truth is, many successful people didn't start off as talented geniuses who were born to be in their field. You have to figure out what skills deserve your effort before you do all the work.
And here are some of the skills you need to build in order to feel better and get by in life:
1. Becoming good with women
Dating women may be your top priority. But when you reach a point where you want to share your life with someone, you don't want to start from scratch. This is why it's important to cultivate some basic conversation skills while you're young. I'm not talking about the PUA stuff. I'm talking about learning how to hold a conversation, how to tell a woman you like her, and how to be more attractive to women.
The skill that every man needs. To get abundance, and be with the women you like, you must learn how to approach them and make them like you. It's a long process that takes effort, and many lessons, but you can go from horrible to really good in six months, to a year, with some dedication.
We dedicated Beyond Ages to help men approach and attract high-quality, beautiful women of all ages. You will find many guides to help you improve your dating life, both online and offline. Begin with these:
Quite similar to the first one but most guys neglect it. Networking with the right people takes you to new highs. Back in the day when Michael Bloomberg started at Wall Street, he used to arrive one hour early every morning with extra coffee and tea then look for whoever executive was working early and he'd chat with them. He's now a $59 billion man.
Networking is simple. Just be willing to talk to as many people as possible as often as possible. Have a routine whenever you leave the house and talk to 3-7 people before going to work or meeting women. Chat with a barista or compliment someone, it doesn't matter. You don't need to be slick about it, just the right words. Even if you keep thinking, "I'm not good at anything when it comes to socializing," keep trying. With time, talking to people won't be a problem and chats will become relationships.
A quick exercise:
Some people spend months in the gym without a single connection, but you are different.
I want you to talk to as many people as possible, even you just say hi, then watch the results in 3-6 months. It's all about familiarity and small chats accumulating over time. The first time you greet them, the next time you ask them to spot you, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th are quick chats, then you're gym buddies.
Do it with everyone you like and soon you will be a popular gym rat.
Remember: Familiarity and consistency are better than just being slick.
3. Learn a new language
I missed on so many nice booties on Tinder Brazil and Spain because I didn't speak Spanish. Unlike meeting up face-to-face, the convo will soon fade and will never come back. And it's not just about attracting women.
Languages let you explore new civilizations and new ways of thinking/living you've never experienced before. You connect with people on such a deeper level if they find that you went through the effort to speak their language.
The fastest way to learn any language is to move to its country. Personally, that's how I learned Spanish. But if you can't, then use Tim Ferris' guide to learning any language in 6 months, it's very easy and practical and it helped me learn some Russian.
4. Basic self-defense
You, your woman, and your family need protection (not the one you use before sex), and you better provide it. Knowing how to kick someone's ass gives you a sense of confidence you can't get elsewhere, not even from sleeping with tons of women. You need that feeling even if you may never step into a real fight for the rest of your life.
How do you start?
Sign up, show up, and stick to it.
It's this simple. Find a dojo or a boxing class, sign up, schedule it on your calendar, and just go. If you're humble enough to get past the first two months then you will learn A LOT.
5. Lateral thinking
To be a good leader or business owner means you can make quick and accurate decisions regularly. So you need some problem-solving and reasoning skills in your arsenal. The best book I read and used was Reasoning Skills in 20 Minutes a Day. It's a step-by-step guide that teaches lots of mental skills including differentiating between claims and facts, working with arguments, and making quick decisions.
Critical thinking, especially when you work on it as soon as you can, gets you far in life. It helps you avoid being manipulated and it also opens up your mind to new ways of thinking. Best of all, it makes you an overall more interesting person when you can think outside the box.
How to Maintain Your Motivation When Mastering a New Skill
Starting anything is easy, but staying consistent takes time and so much mental energy. The following tips will help you maintain your motivation along the way, even through difficult times.
1. Ask yourself “what do I REALLY want?”
New skills look shiny and cool, but some of them aren't for you. It's easy to feel wowed by a new skill just cause it's trendy. I used to think parkour and capoeira (a form of Brazilian martial arts) were cool until I tried them. Same with piano and breakdancing.
Some careers aren't for you as well. Just because you're majoring in engineering doesn't mean you have to pursue it till the end. Maybe you want to drop out and do something way different.
And you don't wanna waste that time, especially as you get older.
So, before doing anything, ask yourself:
- From 1 to 10, how badly do I need to learn this skill?
- Can I see myself doing it for years to come?
- What will happen if I don't learn/master it?
Once you decide that you want to pursue something, then it's time to dig deeper.
2. Smart questions get you there faster
How hard should a man work to make $22k?
Not so hard if you know the right people. Just two days ago, a buddy of mine recommended in our WhatsApp group that we should buy a certain stock. I read the text pretty late, but another friend acted on it and turned an $1800 investment into $22k in less than a day.
Sometimes it's just about the company you have. Just like when Sean Parker helped Zuckerberg promote Facebook. He was a Harvard party animal who happened to hang around the right people.
Now he's worth $2.7 billion
Growth isn't always linear, some skills have shortcuts, and knowing the right person can get you to your goals faster. If you want to learn something fast, ask yourself this:
- Who has what I want?
- How did they get there?
- What's the one thing they did that brought in 80 percent of the results?
- How can they help me?
And this takes us to the next point.
3. Wax on, wax off
Do you remember how Daniel LaRusso learned how to fight in Karate Kid?
Mr. Miyagi got him to clean cars using just two circular motions.
Wax on, wax off.
The kid went mental and thought he was wasting hours learning jack shit only to find out later that those two hand moves "wax on/off" represented the two most basic karate moves.
In every trade, and for every skill, there's a similar shortcut that only the masters know of. And your job is to find that master and learn from him, even if it means paying them well or running errands for them for free.
They can be a Miyagi or a Pai Mei or a Miranda Priestly, it depends on your luck and tolerance. But either way, mentors will help you BIG TIME.
4. Feel lazy AF? Change your environment
Anyone who ever worked from home knows that it's not always the best decision. At least not the most productive. You're much productive sitting on a chair or working from some coffee shop than laying down on your bed.
Same laptop, different environment. And that's just one small change.
I gained 10 pounds two months after asking my first girlfriend to move in with me. Not because of all the sex, but because I lost control over my fridge. Before I used to snack with carrots and apples and now it's Ben & Jerry's all night long. So I either ate more ice cream or drained a lot of energy trying to fight the urge.
Either way, I was losing. Adjust your environment in the best way possible to reach your goals:
- Move to a bigger city,
- Apply for an internship,
- Rent 5 minutes from a gym
- Pay for dancing lessons and have a buddy come with you
- Plan things out so taking action becomes almost effortless
5. Identify that one single act
Usually, there's one action (the 20%) responsible for most of the results (80%). Your job is to identify this action and make sure you repeat the shit out of it. This can be:
- Driving to the gym
- Adding your daily meals to MyFitness Pal
- Doing 50 skips each morning
- Using a language app like Memrise for 15 minutes each night
- Waxing on and waxing off
This single task is the habit that you will repeat for X number of days to become good enough at a certain skill.
To identify it, ask yourself "how far can I go if I do this task every day for 30, 60 or 100 days?"
Once you name this alpha task, move to the following step.
6. Remove all barriers of entry
The one thing that made me stop going to my kickboxing class was the gloves. I used to take my laptop and work from a cafe right across from the gym, which meant that I had to stuff both the laptop and my boxing gloves in a single bag, and it was a nightmare. So I decided to mark my gloves and put them in a gym locker so I don't need to take them with me every time I train.
And it worked.
Moral of the story?
Even the small things can make you stop taking action. Identify those obstacles - aka. entry barriers - and remove them, then notice how you build momentum like crazy.
7. Schedule everything
Whatever gets scheduled, gets tracked....and gets done.
I know it's hard to maintain a schedule, especially if you're not used to it. But you can do it one day at a time. For example, set aside one hour every week to focus on learning a new skill. The next week, set aside two hours. Make no room for distractions and ensure that you can use that time to focus on your skill. Make it a priority and, most importantly, stick to that skill.
Instead of constantly thinking, "I'm not good at anything," ask yourself instead, "What do I want to be good at?" With the right time and mindset, you can learn new skills that will take you further in life. And with so many free resources online, you don't even need to spend a ton of money to learn something new!