Category Archives: Skills

Skills

Don’t confuse 4 minutes with 4 years.

For Christmas, I gave Jenny a family portrait drawn by one of my favorite artists. His name is Bump Galletta and I absolutely love his illustrations. (You should check out his work!)

In addition to the portrait, he created a video documenting the process.

What’s interesting is that the video, shown in fast forward, only takes about 4 minutes to watch.

It’s tempting to watch that video and get confused into thinking that it only took 4 minutes to make.

Deep down we know we’re watching something in fast forward, but there’s a part of us that hopes expertise will come that quickly.

We want our art to take 4 minutes. Not 4 hours.

We want fast forward skills, instant expertise and overnight success.

We see the quick video and mistakenly believe the skills were acquired quickly.

Part of the reason we do this is because we live in an age of instant experts. Someone does something reasonably well for a week online and then sells a product teaching you how to do it. Promotion makes you look like an expert. Practice actually makes you one.

This creates a false expectation and real pressure that perhaps your road will be short too. That expertise is easy or fast. But it’s not.

Ask Bump Galletta.

This 4 minute video took him 4 hours to draw. More than that, learning how to draw took him a lot longer than 4 years to learn.

One of the key elements I talk about in Do Over is developing your skills. Why? Because they take time and we all need encouragement along the way to keep drawing.

Don’t feel pressure or shame if you can’t make an amazing 4 minute video yet. Stack up the hours into days. And then the days into weeks and then, months and eventually years.

That’s the best (and really only) way to get amazing skills, the kind real experts always have.