Shaky Foundations Lead To Weak Structures

Knowledge is cumulative. It’s very difficult to learn something if you have no reference experiences it can build itself upon.

This is why you’re taught to dribble a basketball normally before incorporating behind-the-back dribbling and ankle breaking cross overs. It’s also why you were taught to read short sentences as a child before having to read Shakespeare in high school.

You learn new things by making neural connections to the things you already know. If you’ve got a shaky foundation it’s going to be difficult to establish a robust structure on top of it.

It’s much easier and effective to stay slightly ahead of the curve than to constantly play catch up. ‘A’ students often exert less effort than ‘C’ students because they don’t allow themselves to fall behind.

Think of misunderstandings from the perspective of a programmer. If they immediately detect a bug it’s relatively easy to fix. However, if they’ve spent weeks adding additional code onto the original bug it could take 10x or even 50x longer to correct the problem.

The same applies for virtually everything else. The longer a basketball player waits to correct his sloppy shooting form, the more practice sessions it’s going to take. The longer you allow a bad habit to continue the more effort it will take to eventually break it.

By attacking problems as soon as you identify them you’ll greatly reduce their magnitude, and the amount of effort it takes to reconcile them. You’ll also eliminate procrastination as you’ll no longer be facing insurmountable problems.

This isn’t a sexy concept, but it is an effective one.

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