Skip to content

Learning curves and growth

I really enjoy learning new things.

About ten years ago, I started playing golf. I was (and probably still am) awful.

But over the course of about two years, I took some lessons, practiced a lot, and now I’m decent. Then we had kids, I played a lot less, and now it’s just a fun hobby I enjoy a few times each year. But, I can pick up some clubs, go play a round of golf with some friends, and it’s a good time. (which was my goal)

When you learn something new, there’s that exciting period where you run up the learning curve. There’s a ton of growth and discovery and it can be addicting. It’s why some people jump from hobby to hobby, some people chase that feeling because it’s so much fun.

It turns out that there’s more to it than fun.

How Will You Measure Your Life? [Harvard Business Review] – “One of the theories that gives great insight on the first question—how to be sure we find happiness in our careers—is from Frederick Herzberg, who asserts that the powerful motivator in our lives isn’t money; it’s the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others, and be recognized for achievements.”

Being a Noob [Paul Graham] – “I constantly feel like a noob. It seems like I’m always talking to some startup working in a new field I know nothing about, or reading a book about a topic I don’t understand well enough, or visiting some new country where I don’t know how things work.”

This one is less about growth and more about fun:

When a Man Took a Joke in a Pepsi Ad Seriously, Chaos Ensued [Literary Hub] – “At the time, each AV‑8 Harrier II Jump Jet brought into action cost the United States Marine Corps over $20 million and, thankfully, there is a simple way to convert between USD and PP: Pepsi would let anyone buy additional points for 10 cents each. Now, I’m not familiar with the market for second-hand military aircraft, but a price of $700,000 on a $20 million aircraft sounds like a good investment. As it did to John Leonard, who tried to cash in on this.”

Hilarity must have ensued, right?