Mini-experiments versus chronic dabbling
There aren't any summary bullet points for this post. No dabbling on this one; you’re either in or you’re out.
I’ll admit it straight up that I’ve dabbled before. We all do it to some extent.
Doing risk-free mini-experiments is a necessity but we should be careful to distinguish that from dabbling. Mini-experiments should give us an opportunity to try something in a structured fashion; get help from someone who understands the area and overcome at least one obstacle while learning from it.
Dabbling, on the other hand, is something that we do until it gets a little bit difficult, is a little bit unpleasant or has an unclear path forward. Our knowledge and skill base are too shallow to give us any meaningful results; we never get a chance to improve, and we don’t have the opportunity to find out what we really love/hate about the activity.
We never know all the options or the hidden potential before we move onto the next thing and so the cycle continues.
Success breeds success; but when we stay on the fringes of a skill, we never have the chance to fulfil our potential. Alternatively, when we commit to learning a new skill, we have time to overcome the initial challenges. Then, this reinforces a belief that we can improve our skills, which encourages us to take action, which in turn, provides new results - allowing us to learn even more.
But first, we need the right attitude.