Last week I recorded a fun podcast episode with my friend, Pat Flynn, in which we talked about essential skills and how important I think hobbies and skills are. I’m not sure when that podcast will drop, but I will be sure to let you know. Speaking of podcasts, the Die Living episode I recorded with the SOFLETE crew is up as well so download that here or wherever you usually get your podcast fix.
Anyway so we’re talking about skill and I suppose first of all it’s worth telling you why I think skill building is so important. Humans are by nature builders and makers. Many other mammals and animals walk, communicate, love, hump, and play. None of them build and make things to the extent that we do. There are of course other complex skills that don’t involve making things, but I’m especially fond of the alchemy involved in actually manifesting something real. Anyway.
Imagine you want to build a skill, where do you start? Let’s say you want to learn to cook.
The first place I go when I want to learn something new is the Internet. You can literally type into google “How to ________” with virtually anything in the blank and find a step-by-step guide for how to do it. Google: “How to grill a steak”
Now here’s the key point. Following this guide isn’t going to make you an expert. You’re not going to be a chef when you’re finished following the guide. In fact, it might not even turn out well at all. BUT you will have learned enough along the way to refine your question in the future.
Maybe it goes well and you learn that you need to make a side to go with your steak. So you type in “What sides go with steak? How to make creamed spinach?” Or you learn that you don’t like steak at all and you go on to figure out how to bake chicken.
Pretty soon you have a repertoire of a main course and several sides.
If you say, David, this all seems so obvious why are you telling me to just google things?
Well, I have a question for you, my friend. Why is it that every time I do some magical thing like make a ring, or make limoncello, or roast a pig, or weld pieces of steel using only my bare hands (not really) – why is it that people say “David, how did you know how to do that?”
The Internet friend, the Internet.
As with so many major 🔑s, sometimes the answer is simple, not complex.
Now, when that glorious repository of information and ignorant but willfully proffered opinions fails me I have another technique. But I’ll save that for another day.