Monday, November 04, 2013


Making finer and finer distinctions ..

I have often spoken about how I believe that the path to expertise lies in making finer and finer distinctions between things that (to the inexpert) look to be the same thing ...
Eg: eskimo's have hundreds of words to describe 'snow' ... they are experts at 'snow'

Here are some fundamental distinctions we should all make - early on in our lives ...

The distinction between discomfort and injury ...
The distinction between fact and opinion ...
The distinction 'broad' and 'deep' ...

Hey ... I'm starving ... seriously? No .. you're just hungry. There are people out there who are actually 'starving' ... they make a huge distinction between those two states. We all know what a single leg takedown is ... right? But to an expert at 'singles' - there are many, many different approaches/methods/set-ups/finishes ... it is a vast subject.

Want expertise? Create a habit of making ever-finer distinctions between things that - at first glance - look to be the same.

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Even at my ripe old age, I am having trouble making distinctions namely "The distinction between discomfort and injury", as you say John. The body sometimes tells me it needs a little time off, but the mind says "you might miss something", or "you will get rusty", and you persuade yourself that you are just a little sore and it will be okay so you continue to train. I have regretted this decision in the past. I am learning.

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