Summary of How to Learn Anything...Fast

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8 Overall

10 Applicability

7 Innovation

8 Style


According to an ancient Chinese proverb, “Learning is like rowing upstream: Not to advance is to drop back.” However, as business author Josh Kaufman points out, learning something new doesn’t have to be the excruciating upstream struggle that many people imagine. With clear insights and a ukulele solo, Kaufman expunges myths about learning and shares best practices in becoming proficient at any new activity. getAbstract recommends his charming presentation to anyone who has longed to take up a new instrument, language, sport or skill but dreads getting started.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why people commonly believe that learning a new skill requires a large time investment,
  • How you can become proficient in a new area in just 20 hours and
  • What learning stages students pass through before achieving mastery.

About the Speaker

Business adviser and author Josh Kaufman wrote The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything…Fast.



A common misconception is that “it takes 10,000 hours to learn something.” This fallacy originally entered the public consciousness via psychologist K. Anders Ericsson’s studies of people who are leaders in their fields, such as chess grandmasters. These maestros, Ericsson found, excel by undergoing...

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    Bradley Revell 2 years ago
    This makes sense. I don't like the use of the 10,000 hours here though as it isn't relevant. The 10,000 hours analogy has been used to represent the time required to realistically master a skill; not learn it.
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    Allison Stein 2 years ago
    Helpful information