I first heard about this concept on The James Altucher Show and found it useful ever since.

It is so simple that you usually wouldn’t waste any time thinking about this.

However, keeping this concept in mind, will accelerate your learning process and get you much faster to master anything you want.

Hereby, I declare the 10.000 hour rule as debunked and invalid 😉

Without further ado, here is what the concept of “Plus”, “Minus”, “Equal” is:In order to get good at anything in life, you need to:

“Plus” – Find a mentor who can teach you

The shortcut to learning is to learn from people who have walked the path before you. This way you can leverage their experience to shortcut your learning process and making fewer mistakes. Also a good mentor will push you to your limits. This is the foundation of growth.

find a mentor

When I started my Martial Art Training at the age of 10, I didn’t know shit. Having an experienced Sensei, who taught me to use my body, allowed me to make much faster progress, than just watching Bruce Lee Movies.

Furthermore, during all the years, I accounted many other Sensei’s, from which I could learn different things. Putting all these experiences together, I accelerated my learning process.

“Minus” – Teach others to get better at what you’re good at

Once you’ve reached a proficient experience Level, the only way to perfect the craft is by teaching others. When you start to teach a concept to a beginner, you have to go back to the beginning. By thinking about how you would explain it to someone with no experience, you will go through the learning steps again and learn the nuances yourself.


After decades of practicing Martial Arts myself, I slowly started to pass on my Knowledge to others. While teaching certain techniques, I suddenly saw the nuances and understood why things are done a certain way.

Have I never started to teach, I would have just continued the way I did. But I would have never realized and understood the fundamental concepts and the “Why” behind it. Teaching others, made me a better Martial Artist.

“Equal” – Get challenged by your peers

Look for people who try to accomplish the same and exchange thoughts and ideas. This helps to gain more experience on a horizontal level by learning from your peers. Watching how others learn, helps you with your own learning process because you avoid the mistakes they are doing.

practice with peers

While training with others, I can learn from their mistakes. If someone does a technique incorrectly and gets hurt, I can be more careful not to make the same mistake.

Furthermore, by exchanging ideas and pushing each other, we can try out more things and grow together compared to being in a silo.

Sounds Too Simple?

What many are struggling with, even myself, is the part of finding a mentor and teaching others.

But here are some thoughts:

Finding a mentor

Many times it is not possible to find someone who has the knowledge and also the time to support you on your journey day by day. But that shouldn’t hold you back. Finding a mentor means to learn from people who are more experienced. This could also be virtual (eLarning) or even a simple Book. So don’t get too stressed if you can’t find someone in person.

Teach others

This sounds terrifying at first. You probably imagine that you have give workshops and speak at conferences, don’t you? Many of us are shy. But you don’t have to get on a stage to share your knowledge. Explaining it to a friend or even creating a simple blog is totally fine. Start small and approach things step by step.

I hope this was helpful for you. If you have any thoughts, let me know in the comments below 🙂

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