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The Simple Trick I’ve Used to Learn Drumming, Programming, and Writing

While walking back from the office today, something caught my eye…

I knew that I saw it before, but for some reason it really stuck out to me.

What was it?

It was a dance group practicing outside.

A group of twenty or so students were dancing in unison doing a routine that they’ve been practicing.

I don’t know anything about dance, but I think they were pretty good. And that got me thinking about what makes someone “good” at something.

Dancing, playing guitar, or even writing posts like this, it doesn’t matter what you like to do, you always want to be better.

Or in some cases you want to be the best (stay tuned for this topic)...

Each skill has their own foundations you must learn before becoming proficient.

With guitar, you have to learn your scales, chords, and chord progressions.

With cooking, you must know which flavors taste good together.

With learning a foreign language, you have a set of words that are commonly used like “hello” and “thank you.” 

But I think all of these skills, and any other skill you want to  learn, can be improved using the same process. 

You can use this with every skill you ever want to learn and it will help you improve. 

Ready for it?

Here it is…

Do the thing => reflect = do the thing better

It’s deceptively simple, but most people want to over complicate it.

You get better at something by actually DOING. 

Everything starts with you attempting something and failing.

When you start something, you’re going to suck. You’ll fail.

And if you keep doing the same thing you’ll continue to suck. That’s why you also need to reflect.

Reflecting involves looking at your past performance and seeing where you made errors and where you could improve. 

This can be done in a ton of different ways including getting a mentor, reading books, or discussing the skill with friends.

It’s in this section many people get stuck.

They go to online forums and read about the thing. They fill their bookshelves with books about the thing. They never stop talking about the thing. 

But they don’t DO the thing.

Why?

Because it’s a lot easier to read about something than actually do it.

I know I’ve fallen into this trap before…

I used to read all about marketing and running a business.

I’d stay up late at night in Facebook groups reading about how other people are running their businesses and marketing.

But I wasn’t DOING.

It wasn’t until I started my own business and tried marketing it that I discovered what it’s really like.

Reading all the books and having fancy degrees in marketing made me overconfident and made me feel like I knew what I was doing.

In reality, I was spending years cosplaying as a marketer.

Sure, reflecting on your performance is great, but you need to have a performance to reflect on.

So, take a look at how you spend your time. 

Are you spending too much time reflecting and not enough time doing?

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