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Foundations

The journey continues

Dear reader,
You have been waiting for this moment during the entire week. You have been pondering about when there would be a new newsletter. The wait is over. Let's dig into this week's newsletter.

Foundations when learning

Previous week I told you that I am learning three new skills every month. Today I am going to share what I have learned about this experiment until now.
It is all about foundations. If you can master the foundations, you can climb up the tree of skill acquisition quite fast. Foundations will not be the key to full mastery but they will speed up the learning process in the beginning.
The opposite happens when you skip on the foundations. You will find yourself really struggling when the level starts to increase. Maybe you have saved time by skipping the fundamentals but now you are losing time because you do not understand the core of your new skill.
I will give some proper examples to illustrate what I mean:
  • I have started to learn how to draw. I always saw drawing as something intuitive, as a skill you had or you had not. I realize now that even drawing has its fundamentals you should master first. The best tip I found on the internet is that you should start with the basic outline of your picture. Focus first on the skeleton of an animal before you draw the details. Even without a level of proficiency you will find yourself drawing pretty decently.
  • I am busy with learning Pivot tables in Excel. It is really an exceptional tool that can help you with grouping information and analyzing big chunks of data. The problem however is that Pivot tables are a specialized topic in Excel. You should first go through the painful basics of Excel before you jump to the more specialized sections. You need to understand and work with the principle of data cells before you manipulate the data itself!
The loftier the building, the deeper must the foundation be laid.
Thomas a Kempis

Stories and articles I would love to share

Waiting game
The newsletter of Farnam street brought me to this interesting article about the power of waiting. I think it is a nice addition to the first part of this newsletter. Learning fundamentals is also a long term strategy and not a quick fix.

The article talks about how famous tennis players are better than the rest because they know when they need to pause for an ultra-second. They also know what to do during this pause. They reflect about how they can improve themselves, how they can return the "ball" in the most unexpected way.

Here is the problem with our current society:
We do not wait anymore. We have become too reactive.

Excerpt of the article:
"given the fast pace of modern life, most of us tend to react too quickly. We don’t, or can’t, take enough time to think about the increasingly complex timing challenges we face. Technology surrounds us, speeding us up. We overreact to its crush every day, both at work and at home."

"Life might be a race against time but it is enriched when we rise above our instincts and stop the clock to process and understand what we are doing and why. A wise decision requires reflection, and reflection requires a pause."

We make the best decisions during this pause. We have to control our primal tendencies to only rely on our gut instinct. Don't get me wrong. Sometimes you have to react fast and rely on this instinct.
Most of the times you can wait to answer an important mail or to give a reaction to a bad comment.

Waiting is your new superpower. If you can wait, you are already better than 90 % of the rest.

A new favorite cooking channel
Maybe it will sound a bit weird to you of I promote a cooking channel on this newsletter. I do think food is the engine of our life. Food belongs to one of the fundamentals of my life.
This brand new cooking channel from Ethan Chlebowski is just pure gold.
He talks about fundamentals of cooking!
He has a lot of videos that show how you can make different kind of breads in a simple manner.
Cooking should be fun and easy. Cooking should become just as much a habit as turning on your TV to watch Netflix.

I'm just someone who likes cooking and for whom sharing food is a form of expression.
Maya Angelou

Tweet of the week

SarahTea_The_Quirky_Doctor_op_Twitter_Life_is_a_game_without_winners_or_losers_Don_t_compare_because_it_does_not_matter_Twitter

Video of the week

I still continue to make videos on YouTube, despite its obvious failure. I want to continue experimenting with YouTube and hold myself accountable that over one year I can proudly look back at my accomplishments.
What do you want be proud of in one year?

To me, a leader is someone who holds her- or himself accountable for finding potential in people and processes. And so what I think is really important is sustainability.
Brene Brown

How to know what makes you happy and thrive in life?

What is happiness? How to know what makes you happy and thrive in life? In this blog post I will try to answer that question for you. First though we must understand what happiness means. Happiness is in essence a pretty vague concept that people became increasingly interested in during this modern era. I do not think that the search …
How to know what makes you happy and thrive in life?

How to learn new skills and become hyper-adaptable?

How to learn new skills and become hyper-adaptable?
Introduction Recently, I decided to choose for full responsibility of my mental health problems. I decided to go all-in like Stephanie Buttermore. This is a theme I will tell more about in the next paragraph. In this blog post I will share my new strategy to learn three new skills every month in order to become a hyper-adaptable monkey! Maybe …
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