When you’re trying to get from one level of your life to the next, one of the most helpful things you can do is have an extended period of deep learning.
In ancient times, young people often underwent periods of intense devotion to and study under the supervision of a master in order to learn a particular craft. This was called an apprenticeship and their main function was to create a level of mastery that only practical application can provide through years of trial and error.
This system of “learn, try, fail, repeat” is counter to what the university system teaches us nowadays, which often revolves around study from out-of-touch professors and textbooks with no practical application. In the modern educational system, real world results are often overlooked in favor of test scores.
But true understanding of a craft or discipline only comes from practical application.
The most groundbreaking scientists in the world are not the ones who get the highest scores on a MENSA exam. They are the ones who can take complex principles from calculus and physics out of the textbook, simplify them and apply them to real world scenarios to build things that improve humanity.
The world’s funniest comedians understand not just the formula behind successful joke writing…but also the emotions they have to invoke in order to get an audience invested in their story and hanging on their every word.
Hell, the best fighters on the planet aren’t the ones who’ve spent the most time shadowboxing in the corner. The real champions are the ones who’ve gotten hit repeatedly in the ring.
In order to grow and realize your true potential, you’re going to have to expose yourself and your weaknesses to the elements. There’s no safe way. There’s no “sugar free” option.
You can delay ripping that bandaid off… but the fact remains: exposure to change and uncertainty is the only way to grow.
So instead of avoiding these changes, what I’m suggesting is that you IMMEDIATELY and intentionally undergo a forced period of rapid study, rapid production and trial by fire designed to make you more creative, knowledgeable about your own skills/abilities.
The ultimate goal is to get you out of your head and ultimately, urge you PRODUCE something. After all, the root of all productivity is PRODUCTION.
All of us have a duty to create great work and share it with the world. That’s the price of being here on earth. If you’re not making anything new, you’re not paying your rent to live here. If an idea stays in your head, it did not happen.
You don’t get points for epiphanies.
At the end of your life, you won’t get “rollover minutes” for all the things you should have done. Whatever is up there in that head of yours MUST make it out into the world.
YOU MUST SHIP. At all costs.
What you ship or the level of quality of the product is less important than the fact that you ship something. The reality is that the majority people may go their entire adult lives without creating something tangible that they can point to and say, “I MADE THAT.”
(Not counting making babies. Everyone can do that. Lame.)
The problem is that when we go for years (or decades) without flexing our creative muscles, they atrophy and on a core level (even subconsciously) we stop believing that it’s even possible for us to create.
Every day of your life is an opportunity to create.
You can create change in yourself by building better habits. You can create change for others by pulling them up when they’re down and giving them opportunities. And you can create change in the world by leaving something behind that’s uniquely yours.
So, it doesn’t really matter if you feel “ready” or if you’re “sure” of yourself. Just ship the damn thing.
See what happens.