Learning new skills: step one – finding help

Why learn new skills?
Would your life be more satisfying if you had more useful skills? Are there things you would like to do that you cannot do right now?

Acquiring useful skills will help you live better at any time in your life. It can be done in your spare time and  you can do much of it on your own. The first step is to find sources of information or instruction that you can afford.

Let's start with the free stuff. Look for information on how to do things you want to do.

Where to start?
If you are willing to give up some of your TV watching time, you can acquire information that will help you in ways that you might not expect.

If you are not a TV watcher, give your email and text messaging a rest and browse the Internet for information instead of "twitter". It can give you a leg up in terms of handling work or being more creative.

If you do not enjoy reading articles on the computer, consider reading trade magazines, how-to magazines, and any other kind of publication with articles on how to do things that you do not currently know how to do.

Where does it come from?
There are tens of thousands of informed people (experts) who are sharing information every day on subjects like how to shoot photos, write fiction, interview for jobs, build kayaks, handle losses, raise difficult children, deal with difficult employers, or tune motorcycles.

Some of these people write in magazines, but many thousands write articles and comments on the Internet. You can find most of the answers you are looking for by doing a search on Google or the search engine of your choice.

Often, you will find that you can write to the author of the article and get more information. Many authors are delighted when they find that you share their particular interest and are willing to point you to more resources.

OK, what's the catch?
The biggest problem you will run into is the overwhelming amount of information that is available when you type in your search terms. How do you keep from being confused and overwhelmed by all the unfamiliar terms that you see on the screen or on the written page?

That will be the subject of the next post: "Learning new skills – bite-sized steps are vital"

UPDATE: Read mattbg's comment. Vacation time and those periods between jobs are excellent opportunities to learn new skills instead of spending money trying to suppress your current problems. New skills can create new opportunities for you and you may escape your current difficulties entirely instead of merely enduring them.

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0 Responses to Learning new skills: step one – finding help

  1. mattbg says:

    Some good thoughts, David!

    I often think that learning new skills or acquiring new habits is a much more useful use of vacation time than running off to a completely foreign place that has no connection with your day-to-day life. If you can do something with your two weeks off that enhances your life in the other fifty weeks of the year, that seems to me to be a better idea than one possible alternative of running away from your life for two weeks, only to return to the chaos two weeks later with very little difference and some disappointment about having had to return from wherever you went.

    I look forward to the next part, too… knowing how to find the information you are looking for on the Internet is one of the most important skills related to its use. If you don’t have them, you’ll end up reading what other people want you to read, which is often not in your best interest.

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