Need to know v/s good to know

Regardless of the skill that you’re trying to master, you can’t skip the fundamentals. There’s no getting around to it. I believe the secret to attaining mastery is essentially and obsession to master the fundamentals. It’s the basics that become more nuanced to become “advanced” in the eyes of the practitioner.

There’s a popular saying in the world of martial arts — a black belt is a white belt who never quit. Sure, there’s an assumption that binge watching instructionals or YouTube videos will shorten the curve, but would they? I don’t think so, else everyone would be a world champion or a black belt.

At the end of the day, one has to put in the work to become an expert. More importantly, they have to work on the basics first before they can try out the advanced stuff. Most get swayed away by the latter as it sounds and looks more fancy and impressive. Right? But growth and progress is always measured on what you can implement, not what you know.

There’s not point in binge-watching the advanced stuff when you can’t even implement the basics properly. Yes, you do know a lot but how effective is that? I think we’re all better served if we focus on put the basics to work instead of wasting all our time in knowing the “good to know” stuff.

And if you keep at it, not only will you get better but will also notice that the “good to know” stuff transform into the “have to know” stuff. It takes time but it surely does happen. The key is to stay focused on fundamentals until you outgrow it. There’s no way around to mastery.

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