Obsessive Curiosity

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There comes a time in any pursuit whereby acting on additional information is neither required nor helpful.

Typically, this happens in the middle of the journey from novice to expert -- the fuzzy space of the intermediate practitioner. You know you've reached this stage, when suddenly, you can easily see WHY the experts are good, but do not yet have the capacity to perform at their level.

It's a funny indescribable feeling -- suddenly you can "feel the tension in the strings" of your violin, or can "sense the rhythm" of your drums. You now know what makes an expert an expert, and you want that too.

Your conceptual model of the field is clear, and you what you need to do to get good. The biggest danger at this stage is not a lack of confidence. In fact, you're so certain that with practice, you'll get to where you want to be.

Instead, the biggest danger is trying to "innovate". That is, trying all sorts of different tricks in an attempt to make something new. The dieter tries to tweak carb intake beyond the plan. The knife-maker tries to incorporate western techniques into Sashimi knives. The gourmet chef tries to add coke to chicken (which looks delicious by the way).

This is distinct from "finding your voice", which demands that you obtain a lot of information [1], but always hesitate to act on that information. The question should always be, "How does X fit into my life?" and not, "How can I change my life to gain the benefits of X".

We now have the definition of a loser: One who has the potential to become great, but instead chooses to be "curious".

To the intermediates out there, SHUT UP and DO YOUR THING. I look forward to basking in your glory in 5 years time.


[1] - This is where hoarding seemingly useless research papers is useful


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