Is it really possible to become an expert in some field in 20 minutes a day?
When I first was exposed to the idea, I’ll admit I was rather skeptical. But I heard the idea from a very wise man named Earl Nightengale whom I respected, so the idea intrigued me. I was listening to his audio tapes titled “Lead The Field”, loaned to me by a friend. Gradually the idea took root in my mind, and the more it did, the more excited I became.
So is it possible?
I’m here to tell you it not only is possible, it is almost a sure thing if you pick a very small subject in which you are extremely interested.
The key is to pick a subject you LOVE, and then narrow that subject down to a small bite-size area. Then spend 20 minutes a day – every day – learning every detail about that subject.
The reason that most people fail is that they pick too big a subject. You’ve got to narrow it down to a tiny sub-set, then go after it like a starving dog goes after a juicy steak.
Let me give you a personal example: I am a musician. Can I become a world-class expert in music?
Pretty doubtful, because the subject is HUGE. I would have to know music history, composers, composition, music theory, and musical instruments of all kinds, all about singing, opera, jazz and a hundred other sub-areas of music.
But in the area of music there is a sub-area of piano playing. I play the piano. So can I become the world’s expert in piano playing?
Still pretty doubtful. Piano playing is a smaller area than music, but it’s still huge. I would need to know all the piano literature from concertos to fugues, piano construction, pianists, piano styles, and dozens of other sub-areas.
Well then, how about piano chords?
That’s a good deal more reasonable, and that’s exactly the area I chose to master when I was still in my teens. I LOVED chords, so spending 20 minutes a day studying all about piano chords was like a chocolate addict spending 20 minutes in the Hershey factory. And while my goal was to spend 20 minutes a day, I was so interested in the subject that I usually spent more like 2 hours a day.
Am I the world’s expert in piano chords?
Probably not, but it really doesn’t matter.
There are probably many musicians around the world that know as much as I do about chords. But that’s OK – what I know about piano chords has enabled me to enjoy music like I never could have dreamed before, earn a lifetime of income, participate in thousands musical events, write a series of books on chords, and build a teaching studio that now reaches thousands and thousands of people all around the world via CD and DVD.
Can you do the same in your area of interest?
Just make sure of two factors:
1. You are in LOVE with the subject;
2. Make sure the subject is small enough to master.
If you can do those two things, you are on your way to becoming a world-class expert in your field in 20 minutes a day.
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Duane Shinn is the author of over 500 music books and music educational materials such as DVD's, CD's, musical games for kids, chord charts, musical software, and piano lesson instructional courses for adults. He is also the author of the popular free 101-week online e-mail newsletter titled "Amazing Secrets Of Exciting Piano Chords & Sizzling Chord Progressions" with over 60,100 current subscribers available from www.playpiano.com
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