Last week I did some public musing on how, if you are good, can you become great. Almost immediately I felt as though I jumped the gun because simply becoming average at something is a big deal. If you have never done a thing, if you are at a zero on a scale of 1 to 10, how can you become average? How can you become a 5?
First, why are you even bothering in the first place? Really, don’t even try. Don’t even start. You will save yourself time and money and emotional damage. I will go though my entire life gleefully delighted that I never learned how to ski. Screw skiing. I wish I had kept that in mind when I signed up for a community college course in programming Flash a couple of years ago. I thought it would be easy and it wasn’t. I thought it might be a shortcut to writing video games and it wasn’t. I never bothered to check my final grade so I don’t know if I passed but I do know that I never learned Flash.
I have no passion for programming. I started at zero and fought my way up to a 1.5 before saying to myself “screw skiing”. This is part of the problem with our economy at present. If your job in the factory has gone away and everyone tells you that you need to learn Flash remind them: “screw skiing.”
Passion is part 1 of 2. You need to really want this. Guitar. Writing. Engineering. Farming. Passion means that the learning is not work. It is life.
I did a lot of indie film/video projects in college and in the few years after and I loved, loved, post-production. One of our dumb instructors kept saying “you can’t fix it in post (editing)” and I took that as a challenge. Editing problematic footage was such an amazing rush. Can I fix this mess? Not always, but often.
But I was never awesome. I was pretty good for a college student. I never became great even though I like to think that I could have.
Time is part 2 of 2. Find what you are passionate about and freaking do it. Play guitar. Write the story. Build a model. Plant the field. Passion without putting in the time is a nice hobby for an amateur.
Passion and time will easily get you to average. Get you to a 5. This is the easy part.
Getting to 7 is hard.