February 3, 2011

Thoughts on Being Good At Something

I've had a lot of people tell me that I'm very, very good at knitting. That my work is beautiful and amazing and all this stuff that I really think is not true. While I do know that I can knit, and pretty decently, there are many, many others who are waaaay better than I am.

But it got me thinking - since I am a decent knitter, how did I get here? How does one go about becoming good at something? So here are some thoughts on what I've done to get where I am so far, in the hopes that it will inspire others to do what they've always wanted to do - and be great at it.

10 minutes - You know the term practice makes perfect? I spend at least 10 minutes every day knitting. I've heard that it takes 10, 000 hours to become an expert at something and you can achieve that in little 10 minute chunks. 10 minutes every day really doesn't take up much time. Some things you can do before work, or on your lunch break, or right before bed! Just put some time aside and practice, practice, practice.

Love What You Do - What's the point in trying to be an expert in something you hate doing? I have a deep seeded passion for knitting and it makes it really easy to do it every day. ;)

Never Stop Learning - Let me repeat that. Never stop learning. Even if I start feeling like I've mastered something, I can never stop learning. I am always trying to read up on a new technique, or a new stitch, or a new way to block things, or what yarns go well with what project. Humans are naturally programmed to continually learn and grow. I try not to stunt that growth by thinking I'm done learning. You can always learn how to cook a new dish, or use a method you haven't tried before . Or try a different way to cross stitch so it's faster. Or paint that thing you've always wanted to try but never have.

Always, always, push yourself to what you think your limits are. And don't be afraid to just jump in.

Go be great!


Farm Girl said...

A very well thought out post and full of truths. I remember coming home and being pregnant after working and looking around and feeling so dumb. I knew that to not learn means you go backwards. I have never wanted to go backwards. So the fight to keep learning began. I am so glad you have found that little secret too. I really like that you said, love what you do. Simple concept but hard to do.
I hope you had a nice birthday. I thought about you all day.

Kessie said...

All very true. I'm terrified of becoming one of those dumb mothers who knows all about babies and nothing else. I work at my drawing the way you work at your knitting.

I think another good tip is to surround yourself with people who are better at the craft than you. Then you will truly never stop learning. :-)

Allison said...

First off, I LOVE that picture against the wood. Really lovely.

Secondly, you're right on. Keep learning. So, should I take up that horrible German class I dropped last semester? ;)

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