Master the Fundamentals — Life Principle #22

Learning the fundamentals of any skill requires practice and repetition. We know this. But the question is why? Why learn scales when you can’t just jump on YouTube and learn every song imaginable? Why learn to draw when I️ can just jump straight into illustrator? Why learn


Because the basics reinforce your creative abilities. The better you are at the fundamentals, the better at acquiring a higher level of skill and a greater ability of expression.

Life Principle #22: Master the fundamentals.

Building from the foundations up.

A skill is essentially a collection of micro skills. (Or meta-skills)
For every skill, there is a subset of smaller skills that add up to the greater sum. Most people don’t really think about them when their learning, which is one reason why the majority of people don’t reach mastery in their crafts. 

Design, for example, could be broken down into:

Understanding color
Typography
Spacing
Lighting
Designer Eye
Branding
Marketing
Layering & Repurposing
Aesthetics
Drawing
Logos
.. (and so on)

As well as the tools you use to design (Illustrator, InDesign, Sketch, etc)
    
Sure, the fundamentals might be rout, dry, boring, and monotonous, but they are essential. To become a high performer at what we do, we must master the fundamentals. Fundamentals become less boring when you realize the why behind them. When you understand how powerful they are at raising your game, you no longer feel bored, you feel like you have an unfair advantage.

Fundamentals make you razor sharp. (And fast too) There’s a huge difference between the work of someone jumps right into the deep end, and someone who has a mastery over the fundamentals. You’re lightning. You’ve ingrained the movements deep into your body and mind where you don’t have to think about what your doing, you just do I­t­, and make I­t­ look natural.

Fundamentals builds the foundations for high performance. If you want to be in the top percentile of your field, building up a toolbox of micro skills will get you further than you thought possible.

And having a grasp on the fundamentals allows you to break the fundamentals and create something new and exciting.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Related Insights

"Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals." — Jim Rohn

"When I was young, I had to learn the fundamentals of basketball. You can have all the physical ability in the world, but you still have to know the fundamentals." — Michael Jordan

"The book is there for inspiration and as a foundation, the fundamentals on which to build." Thomas Keller