3 steps to making learning super easy

Use Fogg to beat the fog that stands in your way #MondayMorningWakeUpCall

B.J. Fogg, a psychologist who’s studied human behaviour for the last 20 years, mostly at Stanford University, has created a new model of human behaviour change. His lab has been investigating how technology (mobile and computers) can motivate and persuade people. The study is also the genesis of the Fogg Behavioural Model that he has developed which states that 3 things need to come together at the same time for a behaviour to occur:

  1. Motivation
  2. Ability
  3. Trigger

Here’s a more elaborate thesis of the model – http://bjfogg.com/fbm_files/page4_1.pdf and a summary – http://thumbnails-visually.netdna-ssl.com/FoggBehaviorModel_5185510a3a528_w1500.jpg

I believe this is also a really good surrogate for learning a new skill because to learn anything new also usually requires you to undergo a behaviour change to make the necessary adjustments in your life and mind to study, absorb and acquire it.

Here goes my interpretation and adaptation of how you can use Fogg to clear any fog that stands in the way of you becoming a ‘zot’ (master) at anything you want to learn –

  1. Motivation: You can be motivated to learn a new skill by –
    1. Pleasure (Enjoyment)/Pain (By force)
    2. Hope (Reward/Betterment)/Fear (Failure)
    3. Social Acceptance (Recognition)/Rejection (Being left behind)
    4. Curiosity
  2. Ability: Make the skill easy to do/learn by breaking it into small steps or components. This is what Foggs calls ‘Tiny Skills’. Example, if you want to learn the piano or a new language then start with practicing for only 10 minutes a day 5 days a week instead of one hour once a week or worse, trying to chalk out half hour every day.

You are more likely to meet a more achievable practice goal that doesn’t turn your old routine upside down. In due course, once you get hooked to your new routine, start enjoying the skill, you’ll increase the time you spend on this activity on your own accord.

Note: Motivation and Ability can trade off. If you’re very highly motivated to learn something new, then even if your natural ability for the skill is low, you will still make good progress.

  1. Trigger:
    1. Reminder: To perform the activity
    2. Facilitator: A good facilitator/teacher. The facilitator/teacher can be instrumental in helping –
      1. Those low on motivation (to inspire) and
      2. Those low on ability (to break down the complex skills into ‘Tiny’ easily learnable components)

The probability of you learning (or teaching) a new skill will significantly go up when you add all the 3 components together at the same time.

Ready to do the MAT(h)?

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