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Ayush Chauhan
August 13th, 2020 · 3 min read

Micromastery: Learn Small, Learn Fast, and Unlock Your Potential to Achieve Anything

About the book:

Micromastery (2017) teaches you how to effectively learn a new skill with a focused and gradual approach. With helpful, actionable tips and advice, it outlines all the steps you need to take to ensure you’re successful at any task you take on.

About the author:

Robert Twigger is a British author who studied politics and philosophy at Oxford University. He has written several works of fiction, as well as articles for publications such as the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Times.

What’s in it for me? Discover how to master any skill.

When it comes to learning a new skill or diving into a new hobby, most of us are dissuaded by the amount of time and effort such tasks require. That’s where micromastery can help.

Micromastery aims to eliminate the phenomenon of demotivation, which can often stand in the way of success. By breaking up a goal into small, achievable stages, micromastery encourages you to focus on a specific skill before moving onto the next one. The sense of accomplishment you feel from completing each stage will motivate you to keep going until you finally achieve your bigger goal.

Micromastery helps you and your brain get in great shape.

Micromastery is a mental workout. Our brains are constantly changing, and if we don’t give them exercise by learning new things, we will fail to forge new neural connections that allow us to perform tasks. Indeed, we could end up forgetting how to do something if we allow our neural pathways to become weakened through inactivity.

Micromastery also helps facilitate a polymathic lifestyle, meaning a lifestyle that involves continuously learning many different skills. And that’s great because there’s a neurological advantage to being a polymath. If we go through our lives on autopilot and stop learning and challenging ourselves with different mental stimuli, our cognitive abilities will begin to degrade. Over time, this can lead to senility.

the brain is fed varied and multisensory input that keeps it in good shape.

Micromastery consists of six elements; the first three involve an entry trick, a rub-pat barrier and background support.

First, every micromastery involves an entry trick, which is a cunning scheme that speeds up your performance and pays off immediately.

Second, micromasteries each have a rub-pat barrier, which is the obstacle that arises when two required skills are incongruent with each other.

To defeat this barrier, it is necessary to focus on each skill individually; eventually, it’ll become easier to do both at once.

The third element of micromastery is background support, which clears your path of any roadblocks.

To make this point more concrete, let’s look at drawing. Say you want to learn how to draw perfect Zen circles, which is the special Japanese technique of drawing circles in one brushstroke, or two at most. What will help you achieve this skill is a really nice pen, one that makes you feel good using it – this could be a fiber-tip pen or a brush pen, or any other pen that can produce clean brushstrokes.

The other three elements of micromastery are payoff, repeatability and experimentation.

The next element of micromastery is repeatability. If you can replicate a micromastery over and over again, you will be able to see your improvements with each repetition, increasing your confidence.

The sixth and final element of micromastery is experimentation. Experimentation enables you to play around with the skill or task you’re trying to learn, which prevents the process from becoming tedious. Furthermore, it maintains your curiosity, which helps expand your desire for further knowledge and involvement with the task at hand.

Experiences like that illustrate why there has to be a payoff that will encourage you to keep putting in effort. If you feel like you’re getting better at something, that feeling of success will make you want to continue.

Final summary

Learning something new can sometimes be overwhelming and can demotivate us from sticking with it. That’s why it’s much more efficient to learn various smaller tasks quickly and work your way gradually toward mastering a skill, which is a method called micromastery. Micromastery involves six main elements: an entry trick, the rub-pat barrier, background support, immediate payoff, repetition and experimentation.

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