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Micromastery: Learn Small, Learn Fast, and Find the Hidden Path to Happiness
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Micromastery: Learn Small, Learn Fast, and Find the Hidden Path to Happiness

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  476 ratings  ·  62 reviews
'Micromastery is a triumph. A brilliant idea, utterly convincing, and superbly carried through' - Philip Pullman

We read that we must be passionate about only one thing, that 10,000 hours of hard practice is needed to achieve mastery. But in fact most successful people, including Nobel prize winners, nurture multiple areas of knowledge and activity that feed their central s
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 23rd 2017 by Penguin Life (first published May 17th 2017)
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Average rating 3.47  · 
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Sean Goh
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
A short and motivating book on how giving yourself permission to just do, and slowly get better has a meaningful impact on one's confidence and competence. It is unlikely one will find all the micromastery examples compelling, but you just need one to start the virtuous cycle.
Micromasteries - self-contained unit of doing, complete in itself but connected to a bigger field. E.g.: Cooking an omelette. It is repeatable and has a success payoff. It is pleasing in and of itself.

The right teacher d
Paul Berglund
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Probably the simplest micromastery in this unique and enjoyable book is the exercise of drawing
'zen circles'. That initially had zero interest for pun intended....well, yes, pun intended,
sorry, I couldn't resist...But then, when I tried drawing the circles, I found it fascinating, and relaxing. Plus, I found out that with a little practice in using the helpful tips for drawing these circles, that Iam pretty good at it, I think. Now, the next time someone tells me that I have zero talent
Aug 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Micromastery: Learn Small, Learn Fast and Find the Hidden Path to Happiness (2017) by Robert Twigger is a book that describes why you should learn small skills that appeal to you quickly and then improve on them.

The book has an interesting idea, namely that we often say we want to learn big, time consuming things that take ages to do but then never really undertake these things because they are often too hard and don't provide rewards for our learning early enough. There is definitely something
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-books
I am reallly mixed on that book. On the one hand the writing is farily pleasant and it reads well, it's got a positive, lovely message... On the other hand I feel that the message to so simple that I had already understood it when I read reviews and summaries online before buying it: learn a small task really well, it could lead you to master the whole thing, and in any case it'll make you happier.

The author makes sure to develop this idea on and on and to add anecdotes about famous scientists,
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The point about micromasteries is that they give a person the means to acquire a little skill. Being able to do a little something builds confidence. Read the book to see how micromasteries take the daunting out of learning. Western approaches to learning may rest on shaky ground. The Japanese, according to Twigger, assume anyone may learn anything.
They teach skill by skill.
Sep 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Six steps to master new skills: the entry trick, the rub-pat barrier, background support, immediate payoff, repetition and experimentation. The explanations made sense and might be useful to motivate some of us to try new things.
Vladimir Slaykovsky
Aug 27, 2018 rated it liked it
(read abridged version of the book)
Let's take natural learning process, split it into a set of informal steps and put some fancy labels.
This is perfect recipe for writing yet another self-motivation book.
Mar 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
List of ideas to learn random stuff and call them micromasteries. Suffered through, so not for me. Single nugget of info for me was to tune your learning according to your feeling of discomfort - it should be somewhat uncomfortable but not too much. Thats how you gauge when you are far enough out of comfortzone.
Ben Letton
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Short and sweet; the idea of investing in small but achievable projects really resonated. It has inspired me to try lots of new things. Lovely book.
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a short and easy read with an important message: you are more than one "self"; you have multiple interests and desires, so foster them in manageable chunks. In a world obsessed with figuring out your personality type and love languages, etc. this book is a refreshing look at the way all people are designed for more (not to say that taking those personality tests is "bad," but rather that we tend to rely on them to fully describe us as people and we are more multidimensional than that). T ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Helped me prioritize what to do and how to do them fast. We aren't meant to learn like specialists, a start is a beginning. The book also made me realize that the first step is most important, mastering everything to the maximum isn’t that important.
Vanessa Princessa
I read this book thanks to Blinkist.

The key message in these blinks:

Learning something new can sometimes be overwhelming and can demotivate us from sticking with it. That’s why it’s much more efficient to learn various smaller tasks quickly and work your way gradually toward mastering a skill, which is a method called micromastery. Micromastery involves six main elements: an entry trick, the rub-pat barrier, background support, immediate payoff, repetition and experimentation.

Actionable advice:

Christopher Legg
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I attended the Bridport Literary Festival and heard Robert speak, it was very inspiring and the book did not disappoint. It resonated so strongly with me and has opened my eyes to why over the last three years, I've learned to weld, bought a sewing machine, renovated camper vans and have written and published one novel, (and busy writing the second). On reading the book, I've already started to make more omelettes, improve my handwriting, practise zen circles with the aim of improving my drawing ...more
Ulrika Eriksson
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Why I liked this book so very, very much, muchissimo: it made me eager to learn things, made me start drawing and joining Urban Skechers, bake bread for a while, join a weekend course in escimoroll, do a nettle rope. I learned from the book how important it is for our brains to learn new things and how not surprisingly satisfying it is to do so.
His books Walk (made me start walking of course) and Zenslacker, (when in a self critical mood) are similar in that way that they make me/you happy. Both
Paul Westwood
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Paul by: Tim Woodman
I first encountered this book at a friend's house and was very taken by the concept so when I received it as a present from my wife I was very pleased.
Micromastery pretty much does what it says on the tin. It's about learning a small, repeatable task to the point of mastery. The main concept of the book is that it can be much more beneficial to micromaster many disparate skills rather than spending years becoming an expert in just one field because diversity broadens our horizons and gives us a
Rick Yagodich
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book in two-and-a-half distinct parts. I really wish I could rate them differently.

The first section of the book covers the concepts of Micromastery and the psychological underpinnings of the approach. It addresses the concept from a pedagogical perspective: that we learn best by being interested, and interest in a subject derives from tangible outcomes. In effect, if you want to be a good cook, don't start by learning the basics of knife work; start by mastering one specific dish. Twi
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
Didn't finish this one. The basic premise is a good one, but a short article would have been enough to get the key points across: namely, that a) focusing on mastering bite-size activities like cooking a perfect egg is more likely to lead to skill, perseverance, and ultimately, happiness than focusing on a broad goal like learning to cook well; b) tasks suitable for micromastery tend to be ones that match the usual characteristics of tasks that encourage flow states; and c) there are techniques ...more
Aug 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Micromastery is a concept that is meant to encourage learning by attempting simple tasks frequently inorder to master them. The Micromastery method consists of six elements that help tackle initial apprehensions associated with learning, inorder to make the process efficient and the results achievable.

My top three thoughts on 'Micromastery':
1. When the pressure to master something is gone, the mind is much more receptive to accepting new information. Through the act of repetition, a task becomes
Jul 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Recommend the audio version. I skipped about twenty? sections in the second half because they weren't of interest to me. Took notes on just a few.

Took about seven pages of notes on the first half of the book. I wasn't expecting to take any but I didn't want to forget a lot of the strategies and reasoning. I think this aligns really well with growth mindset and liked how it relates to how our brain really works. I think this will be very applicable in the classroom, which I wasn't really expecti
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, 2018, non-fiction
Twigger's big idea is that it's more fun to learn to do a couple of impressive things really well, than being competent in a specific domain. While it could be seen as a collection of party-tricks, the main idea is to encourage many diverse competencies, rather than getting bogged down in a single specialty. He mentions Winston Churchill, who apart from both creating and writing history was also a keen painter and built a brick wall with his own hands. Many Nobel prize winners are also keen musi ...more
Mark Manderson
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Micromastery helps you and your brain get in great shape.

Many of the brain’s neurons are multisensory – that is, they deal with input from numerous senses at once, such as smell, hearing and taste. The more senses used, the stronger the neural connections and, thus, the better the brain learns.

Three elements of micromastery are payoff, repeatability and experimentation.

Experimentation enables you to play around with the skill or task you’re trying to learn, which prevents the process from becomi
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another great book to start the new year! Micro mastery is an encouraging reminder on how to navigate life. The author provided his own experience and it wasn’t my cup of tea (Zen circles anyone?) but it just goes to show that micro mastery is all about what you want to do and do it well. The author provides a few cool things that you might want to try (making sushi, how to do a J turn, how to climb a rope, how to get on a surfboard etc.) just to give the reader an idea where to start. Focus is ...more
Armina Frederick
Mar 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
garbage. Didn’t bother finishing after a couple of chapters about things you could become interested in doing to make other people think you’re cool. (“Buy the most expensive tools! Don’t hold back”) Some of the “facts” are objectively incorrect. People who announce their goals before they reach them do not all improve their odds of accomplishing them, often they receive the feeling of completing prematurely and don’t finish.
Very happy for the authors experiences with Japanese fighting or whate
Any Length
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A book after my own taste. It speaks to me because I have had my own wish list for over 22 years and managed to achieve 2/3 of it. In the process I became a micro master in many things. Tap dancing, baking, knitting, cooking certain signature dishes, creating wealth through real estate investing, hands on house building, renovating, creating online workshops, running online groups, bead work, fund raising, resource redistribution, etc, etc.
I really liked what Robert Twigger had to say in this b
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Dull! 39 examples right in the middle of a 250-ish page book, are you kidding me? The book gives you a six-step framework to learn random things. I like the idea of breaking complex and abstract tasks down into small concrete steps, and that's what this book will bring you. However, it feels there is too much padding when reading it.
John Ashmore
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm not one for describing books as 'inspiring', but this really is. The premise is simple, that we can enjoy life more by acquiring and mastering discrete skills - but more importantly it's a powerful rejoinder to the idea that we have to specialise at one thing and one thing only.
Felipe CZ
Sep 17, 2018 rated it liked it
By breaking goals into small, acievable pieces, micromastery encourages to focus on a specific skill before moving onto the next one. Micromastery consists of 6 elements: entry trick, a rub-pat barrier, background support, payoff, repeatability and experimentation.
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some good information in there, but a bit scattered. I described it to someone as "kind of like a blog was dropped on the floor and all the posts were scattered and someone picked it up and published it as is." So there ya go.
Dec 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Felt a bit filler for some of the micromasteries, but that’s probably because I don’t care or have an interest in those things. Still, a nice way to validate oneself in a modern day world where we appear to have so little time to do anything worthwhile asides the 9-5.
David Wygant
Jan 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Find shortcut to speed up initial performance. Overcome the first challenge through persistence. Clear your path of any roadblocks such as the right equipment. Start small to see immediate payoff. Repeat over and over to gain confidence. Experiment to keep you curious and interested.
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Robert Twigger is a British author who has been described as, 'a 19th Century adventurer trapped in the body of a 21st Century writer'. He attended Oxford University and later spent a year training at Martial Arts with the Tokyo Riot Police. He has won the Newdigate prize for poetry, the Somerset Maugham award for literature and the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award.

In 1997, whilst on an

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