Trying To Become Great At What You Do?

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Trying To Become Great At What You Do?

Here’s What Might Be Blinding You.

One of the most common things I see people get caught up in, when exploring any subject in detail, is the following:

They’ll get obsessive about a particular term within the given subject instead of exploring the entire topic as a craft. For example:

“Impact investing”

“Experiential Learning”

“Human Centered Design”

These are all common terms in investing, teaching, and design, respectively. In reality though, these things are often misnomers. Bullshit.

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Here’s why:

Great investing means a lot of things — one of which is that you make an impact on your investment with your resources. It’s just an adjective, among many, of great investors. Nearly all great teachers make learning immersive and experiential. ‘Experiential learning’ as a term is a distraction so that people can get hung up on the details, yet again. Great product design is made up of empathy and understanding. If you’re designing a product that people will use, you aren’t going to talk about dog-focused design. You’d just be a bad designer.

We get hung up on these artificial categories because we recognize that we want to be great at something, and we recognize the importance of that tacked on adjective in the big picture.

But here’s the big blindspot: we often decide to focus on these specific terms because we’re afraid of putting in the hard work over many years to truly understand a craft. They all become semantics when they aren’t in the context of the big picture.

Being great at something is hard, and understandably, we try to create shortcuts.

In my experience, these are just another attempt to create a lazy shortcut.

When you look at the top 1% of any given trade or skill, you don’t see them focusing on the specifics in isolation. They work hard at becoming great.

Will you?

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