Become a world expert at anything in 6 months!!!!

This is a pretty big claim and comes from the Tim Ferriss DiSSS approach.  I listened to his podcast which is pretty good.  Some of his other stuff is weird or geeky or just boring.

Note that expert means top 5% in the world, so don’t expect to win the Olympics or the Augusta Masters.  However being in the top 5% will set you apart from normal humans in almost any discipline.

DiSSS is Tim Ferriss’s frameworks for mastering new skills, languages, activities.  Anything that has structure can be tackled.

The DiSSS process:

1. D for Deconstruction. Break down what you want to achieve into the smallest units.  Language = words/verbs/adjectives etc.  IT Director = leadership; technology; applications; operations; services; etc.  Being a chef = recipes.

Here is one of the key parts: find experts in the field and ask them the right questions.  Experts = people who are really good.  Lets face it, its unlikely you will get an interview with Tony Robbins, but I bet there are plenty of coaches in your area willing to talk and discuss, for example.  Here are the questions:

  • who is good at x even though they are not natural (find out who has succeeded without genetic advantages)
  • who are the most controversial or unorthodox people in the field and why
  • most impressive people
  • what makes you different
  • what are the biggest mistakes and myths in your field
  • what are the biggest wastes of time
  • what are your favorite instructional books or resources
  • if you were to train me for 4 weeks, what would you concentrate on

The  intention of these questions is to find the core of what makes a difference.  Example, being able to coach your employees.  Find a few eminent coaches in your field and find out the key 5 techniques or questions that they always use during the first interview.

2. S for Selection. Use Pareto analysis to work out how to get 80% of the value from 20% of the effort.  Following the language example:  what is the minimal set of words needed to be able to communicate?  Here’s a text I found on the internet ….

An average adult native English speaker has an active vocabulary of about 20,000 words. The Reading Teachers Book of Lists claims that the first 25 words are used in 33% of everyday writing, the first 100 words appear in 50% of adult and student writing, and the first 1,000 words are used in 89% of every day writing! Of course, as we progressively move to a higher percentage, the number of words starts to dramatically increase (especially after 95% of comprehension), but it has been said that a vocabulary of just 3000 words provides coverage for around 95% of common texts (such as news items, blogs, etc.).

So with just 1000 words you can cover 89% of everything in English.  We above the 80% target with Pareto analysis.  So probably you can get away with 500.

3. S for Sequencing.  Now put together a sequence of doing things. In some cases this is important.  For example, if learning Karate you need to start with the standard moves.  If learning to cook, perhaps an omelette!  With the language example, you look at the most common words first (the 25), then the 100.

4. S for Stakes. This is really about the “WHY”.  Maybe this is a passion for you.  Maybe it is something you need to do to survive if you lose your job.  Or something to get promoted. Or it something you have always wanted to do.  But you need to understand WHY you are doing this and find the right motivation.  Otherwise it will never happen.





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