Personal metaphor development for progress

A line drawing of a person climbing a mountain symbolising the mastery path

Going through my personal folders just now I found the following thought train in a word doc and thought it might be interesting to share:

One of the things I find frustrating about learning new skills and areas of knowledge is that my metaphor for it is a mountain where there is a long and varying uphill path. The revelation I have just had is that my metaphor is a 2D metaphor – there is only 1 path. But that doesn’t sit with my natural inclination to try and find the easiest path. I want to walk around the area of knowledge and see what that mountain looks like from all sides before choosing the path to take.

 

The problem then, is that if the metaphor is 2D, how do I walk around it? Of course the other issue with my approach here is that often, walking around the subject might take less effort but ultimately take longer than simply starting and getting on with the path first presented.

 

Another element I have considered in the past is what happens when I get to the top. I can see other mountains that need to be conquered but which to choose and what do I do with the subject I have just summited? I always try to make sure that what I learn or do serves me in the future and is something that will make the next experience easier.

 

If I convert the 2D metaphor into a 3D one, then the options of which peak to master next multiplies enormously and I can then choose which lessons from the summit freshly peaked to use to help me on the next.

 

Perhaps I can see a mountain in the distance that I want to challenge and can see a series of peaks that need to be conquered in order to get there.

 

One question I ask myself now is whether I take a longer route over many small peaks or, like the Romans, aim arrow-like across whatever obstacles are in the way.

 

Taking a least-distance approach, as my satnav will often point out, is not always the quickest but then how often is it a more enjoyable journey and how often do I learn more interesting and fulfilling things on the way?

 

The other question worth asking myself is whether it is actually necessary to get to the top of every mountain in a given direction. Perhaps it is ok to go over the side of one or get half way up and then go around it. Does that find a compromise in effort and time or does that compromise my desire to find perfection in everything I do?

Perhaps the balance of effort and time is the perfection I’m looking for.

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