Immediately after writing the previous blog post, I started to think more about skills and talent. What I thought most about was all the things I wanted to learn but did not. The challenges and hurdles that we face can prevent us from reaching any goal. The excitement when you first see someone playing a song, cooking something amazing, or fixing something and think ‘I can do that’ is often lost and forgotten when you embark on the journey. Let us explore some of the hurdles and solutions so that you can move forward. 

The Fear of Failure: I am starting out with one of the biggest challenges. Everyone fears that when they try something new, they are not going to succeed, or in some cases are not as good as someone else. The first part of solving that is realistic expectations, and the second part is understanding you may need to make a lot of mistakes before you get it right. One reason it took so long for me to publish any of my writing was I thought I was going to fail. I turned it into that each writing was practice, and the only way to improve was to do it. Some posts were ok, some were bad but over the years I improved. 

Feeling Embarrassed / What other people think about what you are doing: Other people are going to judge you on first trying the skill, and then how well you are doing at it. Guess what, the only person’s opinion that should matter is yours. If you are worried about someone else, think simple who is more important in my life, me, or them. It is you. There will often be people who will see you trying and reach out to help, these are the people you want around you.  

Lack of Time: Every year I regroup with my team, and I ask them to lay out personal goals. Usually I want to read more, lose weight etc. The second thing I ask them to do is now block out time on their calendar to do it. If you want to read more, book a reading slot. If you want to get in shape, book the time to work out and time to meal prep. If you treat these things like appointments, you are more likely to do them, as well as making the time. Sometimes it is only 15 minutes a day that is needed to practice. 

Lack of Motivation: Often when learning a new skill, we lose our motivation due to lack of progress, frustrations etc. The first thing that must be done is to define what your motivation is, why are you trying to do this. The next is to set small goals and milestones and celebrate them. Remember when climbing a mountain, it is important to look at how far you have gone, not just how far you need to go. Surround yourself with people who support you and find a mentor or someone who is willing to help you. 

Distractions and Procrastination: If you read any of my articles previously you know I do have ADHD. This is a huge issue for me. In this day in age where we are constantly bombarded with distractions as our attention is money for them it is often hard to focus. Here is where the booking of time in your calendar helps as well as a second part which is designing the right environment for you to work on your skill. This includes having a consistent space where you practice, you can remove as many distractions as possible. Lastly, get yourself a pomodoro timer and set it. It is an ADHD technique that works well. 

Lack Of Patience: Skill acquisition is often a time consuming and slow process. Often the progress is not noticeable for a period of time. One of the skills I want to learn is patience! And working on other skills is helping me learn it. There are going to be plateaus, setbacks, and bad days and with the right expectations and goals you can hopefully increase your patience with the process. There is no harm is changing goals and timelines if the progress is not perfect. In my current journey getting fit I did change the timelines out, as at 56 it is not as easy as it was when I was 30. 

As we gain wisdom with age, I would think that it would be easier to get past these challenges. But every time I want to learn a new skill, I find myself fighting with these same things, and working on how I resolve them. Some things do come naturally, and that is due to talents, but others do not. It is often the ones that do not come naturally that I desire more, and then need to work harder it. If you spent time training for a year, and then climbed Mount Everst the view is not only breathtaking, but the journey to get to the top makes the experience so much more. If someone were to bring you up there in a helicopter, although it may look beautiful, not having to do the work to get there takes some of the beauty away. And yes, I am still trying to play the guitar and piano, and failing miserable at it so it is time for me to go practice.  


This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife who passed away in 2017) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free.  I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of them.

This Blog is a labor of love, and was originally going to be a book.  With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path.  I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content.  I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip.  I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog.   AI is not used in this writing other than using the web to find information.Images without notes are created using and AI tool that allows me to reuse them.