The circular path of learning a new skill



Reading time:

2 minutes

I have realised that often times the path I take when learning a new skill goes something like this:

Take jiu jitsu, for example. When I started, I learned good fundamentals from a great teacher.

As a beginner, the rate of learning is very fast.

You might be familiar with the Dunning-Kruger effect:

Dunning Kruger Effect

I go from “I know nothing” to the “I’m a genius phase” and start exploring fancy techniques.

Then I hit problems (valley of despair).

Later, I realise the solution was a move I learnt at the start of my journey which I had forgotten.

And I say to myself: can’t believe I forgot this move! I used to do it all the time (because it was the only technique I knew)

Another example:

Being chinese I had to learn mandarin because it is my mother tongue.

I found it difficult and did not enjoy it.

The adults told me it was very important to know mandarin and it will help me a lot in the future.

But I didn’t care. I wanted to speak only english and I did just enough to pass my mandarin classes and tests.

Fast forward ~ 15 years later, I like the idea of being able to speak mandarin and am proud that I can still somewhat speak and understand it… but I wish I was better at it!

The takeaway

Sometimes the solution isn’t MORE – as in to learn new things. Instead it might simply be to revisit old ones with a deeper understanding and refining them.

I wish I had only focused on the things that matter from the start – the fundamentals. But that may be a hindsight bias because I wouldn’t have known anyway. And even if someone had told me that, I may not have listened.

Sometimes one must walk through the fire and go through the pain to learn the lesson themselves. Hopefully not all the time though! Otherwise lots of time wasted… which sux.

Anyway, till next time!


✨ stay in the loop
If you enjoy my writing, consider subscribing so you can get notified when i drop a fresh one! (not poop)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *