I’m sipping coffee this morning working and enjoying the view slopeside at Steamboat Springs. I have seen a lot of beginners from my suite taking some hard falls as they are learning how to turn and maneuver on their snowboards. I cringe when I see the hard ones.
It takes me back to when I was beginning snowboarding and how unnatural things felt. It also reminded me of the stories that Seth Godin used in his book, The Dip. When you are learning something or trying to achieve mastery, you invariably go through the Dip. It is a hard and frustrating place. But if you can push through, life becomes more fun, rewarding and easy on the other side.
For sure, those with mastery don’t struggle as much with their movements on the snowboard. And they are definitely not as tired at the end of the day. They are efficient. The whole experience is different for someone with mastery compared to an amateur.
The Dip exists far beyond snowboarding. It happens in entrepreneurship, stock investing, becoming a doctor and many other trades and activities.
If you know that every time you want to become good at something that you have to go through that hard part of the learning, then you can persevere.
Now, sometimes, the learning can take decades and it is more efficient to hire an expert. Otherwise, you’ll struggle with mediocrity for a long time. It’s not efficient if you are seeking to get a job done. And that is one of the great benefits of our market society. We can hyper-specialize and lean on the expertise of others who have gone through their own dips without suffering ourselves.
But if obtaining a skill or ability is worthwhile, then commit to overcoming the Dip by keeping focused on the reward of an easier time by holding on. You may have to fall for a while, but the very proof that there are experts cruising by out there should encourage you that a different reality will come about if you can keep going.
Keep that vision in sight. It pulls you to persevere in the Dip if you can recognize that is where you are at.