How to be better at (almost) everything - Pat Flynn

How to be better at (almost) everything - Pat Flynn

Understand the advantages of being a generalist rather than an expert and learn techniques that will help you improve your skills.

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What makes some people be amazing in everything they do? Do you think being the best in a skill is the key to success?

The author, Pat Flynn, answers these and other questions in his latest book, "How to be better at (almost) everything" where he explains why it is not so good to be an expert.

Do you want to know more about it and his generalist theory? Stay connected with us!

About the book "How to be Better at (Almost) Everything"

Pat Flynn's book was released in 2019 and teaches you how to get better at almost everything. For the author, generalist people are those who are good at various things, unlike a specialist who is the best at specifically one.

The author shows the importance of becoming a generalist in today's world and demystifies the idea that in order to achieve success you must be an expert.

The work, easy to read, induces the reader to reflect and offers several techniques to help in the development of the skills you wish.

About the author Pat Flynn

Pat Flynn is a writer, philosopher, musician and entrepreneur. He offers online business consulting and is a personal trainer.

He is also the author of 4 books, one of them made for his children and the others are best-sellers. In addition, he is the author of the podcast "The Pat Flynn Show", where he teaches about generalism, the main subject of this book.

To whom is this book indicated?

This book is for those who want to become good at various things, that is, a generalist.

In addition, it's indicated for those who want to discover what skills to develop and how to obtain them.

Main ideas of the book "How to be Better at (Almost) Everything"

  • Settle being good enough in various subjects and skills, because you can become creative and competitive;
  • Having multiple skills and combining them is better than being an expert in just one;
  • The skills every person should have are: discipline, focus, logic, persuasion, and faith;
  • Do not be more than 80% good at something, otherwise, you become an expert;
  • Practice, in challenging situations, the skills you want to develop.

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[Book Summary] How to Be Better at Almost Everything - Pat Flynn

Overview: Why becoming a generalist?

As discussed above, the author Pat Flynn emphasizes and explores the conviction that maintaining the biggest number of relatively well-developed attributes is undeniably more productive than enhancing some until it is mastered.

This is mainly due to the fact that several qualities combined make the professional more versatile and flexible, able to solve a higher range of varied problems.

Based on the assumption that occasional difficulties are solved most often with only a reasonable command of technique, concentrating on deepening it may cause a loss of general efficiency of the person.

In this way, he shows in the book "How to be Better at (Almost) Everything" 5 principles as the basis for the development of the generalist capacity mentioned.

1. Having multiple skills is better than being a specialist

For Pat Flynn, it's better to be better than many people at various things than being the best at just one thing. A combination of skills leads the individual to become more powerful and with more advantages, thus having the greatest chance of success.

2. Short-term specialization

The author says that being a generalist does not mean you're trying to improve on everything at once. He says that good generalists are those who focus on one or two things until they develop them to "80%", as it will be explained in the next topic.

3. The 80% rule

This rule says that you should not be more than 80% good at something. If you do, it will mean that you are already a specialist. You must acquire another skill if you feel that by reaching 80% on something the result is not being satisfactory.

4. Integration is better than isolation

This principle from the book "How to be Better at (Almost) Everything" brings the idea that you should focus only on techniques or skills that relate to what you want to have, and that they should only be practiced in contexts of any outcome you wish to have.

5. Repetition and resistance

In order to develop a skill, besides having to practice a lot in order to achieve satisfactory results, you should practice in situations that are challenging for you.

Overview: Metaskills

In this part of the book, Pat Flynn defines 5 key skills that help anyone interested in acquiring the skill they want to develop, called Metaskills. They are:

1. Discipline

He treats the discipline as a necessary ability for you to develop a skill, because for the author it is impossible to acquire a skill without having a routine.

Pat Flynn tells several methods to develop the discipline. Some of them are:

  • Have regular sleep;
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day;
  • Meditate;
  • Eat protein foods at every meal.

2. Focus

In this part, it's given several techniques and tips on how to stay focused. One of these is using meditation to keep the mind focused.

3. Logic

The best way, according to the book "How to be Better at (Almost) Everything", to develop logic is to reflect on a particular subject and practice it.

The book contains several tips on how you can do this. One of them is to use the spreadsheet that Pat Flynn has made available.

It contains questions for you to serve as a basis for constructing your arguments. And after accomplishing this, you must practice.

4. Persuasion

The author argues that it is important for you to develop persuasion in order to acquire other skills. Pat Flynn gives several guidelines on how to do this and also illustrates what he calls a "persuasion plan":

  • Introduce yourself and extend your hand every time you meet a new person;
  • Ask how you can help her;
  • Establish influence through communication: make comments about the work, send something that would arouse interest in that person, among others.

5. Faith

Finally, Pat Flynn explains the reasons why faith is so important in this goal, such as the fact that it unites people and brings good things. It provides a practical guide for you to practice.

Overview: Other Skills

In this part of the book "How to be Better at (Almost) Everything" the author induces the reader to reflect on what skill it wants to develop and reinforces that to do so it's necessary to follow the 5 principles that are considered fundamental to becoming a generalist, as explained in the first Overview.

Pat Flynn emphasizes the importance of finding the skill you want to develop, dedicating yourself to it, and always having in mind the reason you have chosen it so you don't lose focus and motivation.

What do other authors say about it?

In "Outliers", the author Malcolm Gladwell reviews the personalities considered "off the charts" as the Beatles, Mozart and Bill Gates and confirms that what led them to have a spectacular trajectory is a combination of several factors, such as cultural heritages, extraordinary opportunities and other advantages, such as the time when they were born.

The book "Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance" by author Angela Duckworth leads to the questioning of what makes a person successful. For her, what sets successful people apart from the others that don't have it is the grip, which is a combination of passion and perseverance.

Lastly, in the book "Now, Discover your Strengths", the author gives the following suggestion: in schools and workplaces, we are encouraged to find and correct our weaknesses, always aiming to increase our productivity. If we stop to think, we should focus on the opposite, which is our strengths.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

The author says that many people have the idea that they do not achieve success because they do not have much information.

This may be true, but having too much information can also get in the way, because a person may not know how to get started. Therefore, you should strive to implement the information you already have.

Put into practice the author's teachings, remember the reasons that led you to start developing the skills (don't lose focus), do meditation and learn a new thing every day.

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Book 'How to be Better at (Almost) Everything'