Rapid Skill Acquisition (I)

Rapid Skill Acquisition (I)

How to learn any skill in an efficient way as explained in Tim Ferris’s book ‘’ The 4 Hour Chef ‘’

In his book the 4 hour chef the author Tim Ferris describes his method for rapid skill acquisition.

The 4 building blocks or DSSS

Photo by Ryan Quintal on Unsplash

The first of the four is the so-called deconstruction, the objective of this step is to analyze the skill and understand which are the minimal learnable units, as the author calls them, ‘’the Lego blocks’’ that we should start with.

Selection, the objective of this step is to understand which are the core skills you need, the 20% that will give you the 80%. The capabilities that by developing them can give you the 80% of the results you want.

Sequencing, in the same way it is extremely important to understand which are the core skills, it is also pivotal to understand in which order you should learn them. Sometimes there are skills that are necessary for others or some that have a kind of synaesthesia and by doing them in the right order could give you more than you would initially expect.

Stakes, many of us have trouble following what we plan and here is where the stakes come into action. Make sure you choose stakes that ‘’force you’’ into following your plan and make sure that the process is as enjoyable as it can be since only then will you actually make the most of it. By choosing the right stakes (this change depending on the individual and as such you should see which are more effective for you) will help guarantee that you achieve your goals.

For those of you who want a more in depth exposition let us deconstruct Tim Ferris’s skill acquisition template.


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

This phase is best thought of as an exploratory phase, here you try to search for as much information on the field as you can so that you can understand which are the core skill you will need in the posterior steps. A good idea for this stage is to get in contact with experts as it can make the process way easier, by understanding their point of view you can see which are the skills that those on the front lines actually use.

Tim has always been a proponent of studying the outliers, The reason for this is based on the fact that to reach the position they have they should have something special, even if some of them reach that position only through causality, there are sure to be some that actually have something be it their mentality or approach that helped them achieve their positions. It is also important to notice what they aren’t doing apart from what they are doing, since both are equally important.


Photo by Iker Urteaga on Unsplash

Although approaching a new skill is always overwhelming at first (there we can see the importance of good mentors), most of them if not all can be broken down to more fundamental pieces. Pieces that if learned can give you mastery of this skill. Whenever you approach a new skill try to deconstruct it into the most fundamental pieces, see how much you can simplify it and once you do this you will notice that each of the specific pieces is affordable and that all of them share intrinsic connections with each other.


Photo by Caleb Angel on Unsplash

The process of reducing a skill can be made easier by interviewing. Asking experts about their tips and what they consider most important for the process can help you glean which are the skills you need and even how to connect them, this last thing is many times obscure and requires hints.

The problem with interviewing is that many of us (at least that is the case for me), don’t know any expert and are clueless about how to find one, and even if we knew how to find one, we have a hard time actually approaching them. For the first problem of finding the experts, find more tips on the next article.

Read the next part of the article


The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life

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