"If you learn anything, make sure you have to teach it. That's how you learn."" ~ Geoff Colvin
The key to becoming a master in any endeavor is to:
It's never ending cycle and the more we perform, the more we learn, and the more we learn, the more we can teach.
A performance can be a speaking engagement, concert, book, app, house, or any physical artifact that opens you up to the opinions of others.
Performing provides a feedback loop for improvement. For years, I understood the Learn → Do → Teach cycle, but it was not until I attended a ukulele fest when I realized the intensity of performing demands that you apply what you learn at a much higher level.
When you watch masters at their craft, they make it look easy. When the element of performing in front of an audience is added, the fakes are exposed.
You can 'wing it' for awhile, but you really have no right teaching others unless you are willing to put your own ideas in front of a crowd.
To progress in life, we must open ourselves up the opinions of others. Millions prefer to 'play it safe.' Putting your craft in front of others is scary when the opinions of others matter. And to a degree, what we create is only tested when others attempt to 'consume' whatever it is we created.
I have a huge admiration for anyone willing to put themselves out there and open themselves up to the opinions of others.
Of course, we do have to filter out the opinions of others because more often then not, the most critical of our enemies do so as a reflection of their own shortfall.
I was reading Life Visioning when I came across this:
It's a model for living. We learn. We express ourselves creatively. But ultimately in the end it's about contribution. It's our contributions that outlast us. It's our contributions that allow us to express love - the common thread you will hear humans utter at the end of their existence.
I'm a life-long learner. It's what gets me up early and keeps me excited about life. Why I love web development so much is that after I've learned something, I'm able to express it creatively. But it's not until what I create becomes a contribution others value that the circle is complete.