When I approach a new topic or try to learn a new skill there is something I often think of. A straight line.

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Why a line? Well there is this philosophy I have about learning new things in your life. Often times it’s so easy to see someone and get inspired by their skills. You might say I would like to be like them and learn that. So you set off to learn and after a few months you may be thinking I think I am getting the hang of this! Or you might be like this is so hard why is it taking so long?? Now back to that line… let’s say the left side is beginner and the right side is expert.

beginner |—————————| expert

You are always starting at a beginner level when learning a new skill be it: coding, painting, film making, learning an instrument, anything. The individual you saw that inspired you may be here in the line.

beginner |————————0–| expert

And after a few months of hard work and practice trying to achieve that same skill you might be here.

beginner |—0————————| expert

After a year you might find yourself advancing quite a bit and are closer to the expert.

beginner |——————0———| expert

But what happens if after a year you are still having a hard time with that skill and only move a small amount ?

beginner |——0——————–| expert

This is where I think it’s important to do some introspection. It’s not that you can’t become like the expert I believe you can. However everyone is different and one skill taking you 5 years to master may take others only 1 or maybe 8 months to master. It could be something that you struggle with but thats okay because everyones different. They may have had another expert teach them, or have other skills that help them learn the one you saw. The most important thing is to realize your skills and weak points there’s nothing wrong with either but it’s important to know them.

You before/after 1 year

beginner |—0————————| expert

beginner |——0——————–| expert

Expert before/after 1 year

beginner |———0—————–| expert

beginner |————————0–| expert

The two scenarios is that the skill you chose is something that you do have a talent for and can advance quickly. Or it may be a task you struggle with and takes you longer than others. I think people notice this most in a school setting. I know there were definitely times where I envied my classmates who didn’t need to study hard for math class. I would often times need to study twice as hard to have a chance of doing well on exams. Yet other skills I had like playing the guitar was hard for those same individuals. This was when I started to think in this way of following ones talent with this concept.

But there is something very important that I haven’t included but have hinted towards. If this is the start of someones journey to attaining a skill why aren’t they starting at the beginning?

beginner |—0————————| expert

Natural talent.

Something that can’t be overlooked is that everyone has a natural talent. Some can be very artistic and whether it’s drawing with pen and paper or using a paint brush Art comes easy to them. They have tons of natural talent in this skillset. For them learning to paint is like this.

Before/after 1 year

beginner |————0————–| expert

beginner |————————0—| expert

Someone who does not have natural talent in regards to being an artist may be closer to this.

Before/after 1 year

beginner |–0————————| expert

beginner |———–0—————| expert

So if you have set out to try and learn something new and have been discouraged don’t give up! Just think about the line and how certain skills are more or less attainable by each individual. It may be that you can’t advance as fast as you have hoped but it doesn’t mean you cant get there. If you try and learn something new and realize that you are a natural then it’s clearly something you have a lot of natural talent for and can go far quickly. There is always the tough combination of loving something and not being able to be super successful in it. But if you stick with it no matter how long it takes you’ll be an expert and thats all that matters 🙂.