Once a young Chazan and an older talmid chochom were mentioned as candidates to Reb Chaim Brisker to be Ba'al Tefila on Yamim Noraim. To the surprise of many, Reb Chaim chose the Chazan who was less of Yirei Shamayim, was not poor, was young, and lacked other qualities mentioned in Shulchan Aruch. When asked why he passed on the talmid chochom, Reb Chaim said that a person can have all the wonderful qualities in the world but first and foremost a Chazan needs to be a Chazan. Similarly a person can be a Ba'al Middos, Yiras Shamayim, and everything else, but to acquire torah, it all starts with learning.
So how can the on of the Kinyanei Torah be Talmud, learning? Most peirushim say that you can acquire torah with any one of the 48 kinyanim. How can someone possibly acquire torah without actually learning? Surely the Mishna does not mean that you need to learn, it is obvious that you cannot master Shas and Shulchan Aruch without spending the time learning them. Rather the mishna is telling us that if you want the learning to become part and parcel of your existence, the fabric of your being, then you need to spend all your available time and effort directed to this pursuit, rather than other hobbies.
"Ki Lekach Tov Nasati Lachem Torasi Al Ta'azovu" (Mishlei 4:2). Hashem has sold us the Torah, but the gemara Brachos (5a) says that unlike most people who sell an item, Hashem still cares about it and one of the conditions is that you do not abandon it. Hashem gives the Torah to those who treasure it. If you treasure it you will make it your obsession in every spare moment. The more time you spend learning torah the more you will remember, understand, and instinctively live and act by the words of the Torah.