Can learning one new skill change your life?

Bronkar Lee is a peak performance expert, author, internationally acclaimed performer, entertainment producer, and keynote speaker. He uses his authentic passion for connecting with people and his creative talents (which he’s honed through discipline and commitment) to motivate audiences, lighting a spark of possibility and delivering powerful results. He will be presenting at America’s #1 Customer Service Conference: the Secret Service Summit.

Fifteen years ago, this question had never crossed my mind. Back then, I was drumming for tips on street corners in my hometown. I wasn’t looking too far into the future, and I didn’t understand much about human potential.

One summer evening, I remember standing in a field with my friend, who called himself “Cornflower.” The Georgia humidity draped itself over us like a heavy blanket, and fireflies teased us with small flickers of light. We talked about life and music, and I watched Cornflower create all the sounds of an acoustic drumset with only his mouth. I knew I had to learn how to do that. So right then and there, he gave me my first official beatbox lesson.

Beatboxing (or vocal percussion) is not a skill that many people give much thought to, certainly not one that you would think would spark an entire career. But five years later I had fully embraced this skill, put in hundreds of hours of practice, and found myself touring Switzerland as a Beatboxing Ringmaster in a circus.

I spent 10 months traveling with Circus Monti, creating a unique act that allowed me to communicate without saying a single word. Upon my return to the states, I transferred the Ringmaster character’s skills into my very own solo show. Fast forward a few more years (and a few more skills) and my show was evolving into something more message-based, which led me to be the speaker I am today. I still use beatboxing in my presentations. So can learning one new skill change your life? Without a doubt.

As human beings today, we are capable of molding and shaping our own lives into whatever we want them to be. It’s a fact that we often forget. And not only that, but we have ridiculous amounts of knowledge at our fingertips. I can ask my cell phone a question, and it answers me! With a few strokes on a keyboard, I can easily find out when the next meteor shower will be, how to repair my garbage disposal, or where I can buy a white flute with gold accents.

How incredible is it that we can fine-tune our own personalities, that we can add to our skill toolboxes as we see fit and upgrade our own systems! It’s literally a matter of whether we take action or not. Whether we say yes or no. Whether we open ourselves up to opportunities or shut ourselves down to them.

Who do you want to be? All ifs, ands and buts aside, what do you see for yourself that makes you light up with happiness and purpose? Chances are, there is a skill you need to develop that can help get you there. You get to make the choice to learn. And that choice will change your life.

Here are 5 steps you can take (with an easy-to-remember acronym, LEARN) to get closer to the person you want to be:

  • LISTEN to your inner voice. Is there something about your life you’d like to change or improve?
  • EVOLVE your thinking. Change your perspective. Develop a mindset of curiosity and make friends with failure. Open your mind to what’s possible.
  • ACKNOWLEDGE your weak point. This is the place where you could use some growth. This is the one skill that you could focus on in order to upgrade your life.
  • REORGANIZE the goal. Take your intention to learn the skill and break it up into bite-size actions. Baby steps. Doable tasks. Small goals.
  • NAVIGATE the seas. Get out there and do it. Take action. Check the first small goal off your list. Then keep going.

Good luck on your journey. I’ll see you out there.

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