Have you ever watched a toddler trying to walk? First, they wobble around, arms flailing, looking as though they’ve had a few too many sippy cups of apple juice. But after a few weeks of consistent face-plants, they suddenly become these tiny walking experts.
Well, that’s us adults trying to learn a new skill. We fumble, we mess up, we face-plant (sometimes literally) and then, one day, we get it. But why does it have to be so hard? What if I told you there’s a shortcut? And no, it’s not a magical potion or a mysterious ancient artifact. It’s patterns!
Patterns? Like, Polka Dots and Stripes?
Not quite! When I say “pattern,” I’m not talking about the design on your grandma’s vintage dress. I’m talking about the underlying structure or system behind every skill. It’s the commonalities that seem to crop up again and again when you study those who excel in a particular area.
Let’s say you want to become the next Shakespeare or J.K. Rowling. Sure, you could lock yourself in a room and write until your fingers cramp. Or, you could read their works, along with those of other great writers, and look for patterns. Maybe it’s the way they describe settings or how they build tension. These patterns are like a secret code that can unlock your potential.
Studying the Greats
Now, I’m not saying you should become a creepy stalker who hides in the bushes outside Taylor Swift’s house hoping to discover her songwriting secrets. (Though if you do, let me know if she has any good gardening tips. I’m trying to grow roses.) Instead, you should analyze their work, their routines, their strategies.
Remember Michael Jordan? Sure you do! Well, he didn’t just wake up one day and start slam-dunking. He studied other players, practiced like a madman, and found patterns in the game that he could exploit.
Steal Like An Artist
Now here’s where it gets sneaky (and fun). Once you’ve identified these patterns, you steal them. Yup, you heard me right. But wait, before you…