Whatever Plateau Of Learning You Reach You Will Seldom Drop Below It.
Get Your Plateaus Up.

When I was in school I learned to play the ukulele (more or less), when I had a need to sing my children to sleep. I left it alone for years, and I found I regained my ability within one day and was back playing as well as I did in school, even though I hadn't touched one for over ten years.--remarkable!. I have observed the same thing in playing bridge, golf, skiing, typing, etc., etc. The key point here is the ability to get back to my previous level of proficiency in a matter of hours or days, not a matter of starting all over again.

The obvious strategy for getting satisfaction from an activity is to stick with it long enough (with good coaching) to become proficient at a level that satisfies you. Park it as long as you like. You can almost always go back to your previous level in a very short time. If you don't stick with something long enough to become proficient you will have no meaningful plateau to go back to at a future date, and when you go back to it you will be just as much an awkward beginner as you were before.

It is satisfying in life to do a lot of things well. Play the piano, sing, play golf or tennis, play cards well, dance, etc. It's a lifelong investment. Do as many as you want. Get good enough, then park it, if you wish, but get your plateaus up -- lots of them!

©  2002 John D. Toellner, All Rights Reserved