How to Learn a New Skill By Observing Others

If the past year gave us anything, it was more time to find new hobbies and learn new skills. Spending more time at home gave us the opportunity to learn things that we’ve always wanted to learn or start, but never had the time for. And while it is exciting at first to pick up a new skill, it can become frustrating quickly if we don’t use the right resources for educating ourselves at the onset.

Recently, I started a YouTube channel. At this point, I knew absolutely nothing about video editing and had only started watching YouTube videos on a consistent basis for about 3 months. While I was very new to the online world that YouTube has to offer for both viewers and creators, I found myself not sure where to start. I was overwhelmed: there were so many elements to publishing a video from actually filming the video to editing it and creating a thumbnail and description. I could have easily decided to abandon my newfound motivation to start a YouTube channel, but instead I decided to take some time to indirectly learn from others. I didn’t enroll in any YouTube creator courses or pay any money for formal video editing training, I simply watched more and more videos and gained insights about what made others successful. In just two weeks of doing this and being more perceptive about the videos I was watching, I felt comfortable and confident to make my first video. While it was not an easy process, I utilized the skills that I had noticed that made other YouTubers videos engaging and attractive.

Chances are, there is someone out there that has already mastered the skill you want to learn. While there are an infinite number of resources to tap into to learn a new skill (with many opportunities to invest a large sun of cash upfront), often the best way to educate yourself in the beginning stages of learning something is to simply watch what others who have been successful have done. This sounds extremely simple–and it is. Consume, consume, consume. If you want to learn how to golf, watch others play golf. If you want to learn how to draw, watch others draw. If you want to learn how to dance, watch others dance. Instead of mindlessly observing, be attentive of every move of your subject. I didn’t just watch YouTube videos for my entertainment, I analyzed them and determined which elements made them successful and popular. I didn’t need to spend a lot of money to begin the process of learning a new skill–and you don’t either. Don’t get caught up in not doing something by waiting until you’ve acquired the most pristine resources to do it, just get started by watching others.

If you need a sign to start that new hobby or learn that new skill that you’ve always wanted to do, this is it. While I’m writing this on roughly the year anniversary of the beginning of COVID-19 related shutdowns in the United States, there’s still time to pick up a new passion.

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