Many droplets make an ocean.
A thousand mile journey begins with a single step.
Have you watched Dr Strange the movie?
There's this scene where Dr. Stephen Strange is struggling the learn the mystic arts. Below is the transcript of the scene.
The Ancient One: The language of the mystic arts is as old as civilization. The sorcerers of antiquity called the use of this language spells. But if that word offends your modern sensibilities you can call it a program, the source code that shapes reality. We harness energy drawn from other dimensions of the Multiverse to cast spells to conjure shields and weapons to make magic.
Dr. Stephen Strange: But even if my fingers could do that my hands would just be waving in the air. How do I get from here to there?
The Ancient One: How did you get to reattach severed nerves and put a human spine back together bone by bone?
Dr. Stephen Strange: Study and practice, years of it.
You see, we take so much of what we know currently for granted.
Like, our language, driving, playing a music instrument, a sport, typing, whatever.
We so often forget how it's like to start again. Or to slowly learn something again.
I've been trying to learn some new languages on my own.
I'm using the Duolingo app. The first lesson was terrible. I was turned off by my own lack of knowledge. I had the feeling that I was going nowhere.
But I told myself to do it slowly. The app allows you to learn new lessons or practice old lessons anytime. So I keep reminding myself not to rush through the lessons. I'm not just trying to run through all the lessons and practice sessions. I'm trying to learn a new language. I'm not trying to get the answers correct. Getting them correct via trial and error and not learning is pointless. There is even an easy access forum for you to read why certain sentences are formed in certain ways.
There are also people who post in the forum insisting that some other sentence form is correct. These people are swiftly knocked down by the other folks in the forum. Simply put, they are reminded to stop trying to insist that you are correct. These lessons are formulated by people who know the language and you, who are just trying to learn, are trying to correct them.
The point is, you're not trying to get the answers right. You're trying to learn. Anything else, you're just cheating yourself. Right or wrong, it doesn't matter as long as you learn what you're planning to learn.
Anyway, back to this post. I've been using this app for the past 180 days or so, somewhere between 15-60 minutes a day depending on my mood and motivation. At points I get demoralized thinking there's so much more to go, and yet when I look back, I realized how far I have come. I'm still not great at the language but it's further than when I started.
Do you remember when you first started typing?
I remember using 2 fingers, my 2 index fingers specifically.
Some people never learn to type with all their fingers and thumbs.
I remember how I taught myself to type with all my fingers.
I put my index fingers on the F and J, and the remaining fingers at the corresponding positions.
Then I opened Macbeth, my secondary school literature book, and I started typing out the text. Letter by letter, without removing my hands from the base position. I made a point of using the correct fingers for each of the letters. It took a few days, but eventually, the muscle memory kicked in and I got used to where each of the letters were.
I never learnt to type the numbers and symbols quickly though.
I learnt yoga for a very short while, once a week for 1 month or 2. I forgot.
I remember the first day where I was like....
Then one lesson, then another, then another. After 1 month I was kinda like....
Still bad, but after some rounds of practice, I started being able to handle some of the poses. And that's when I felt, "hey... I'm going somewhere with this..."
Nonetheless, I never followed through on yoga. Just not my kinda thing.
I remember the first time I cut my own hair. I mean it's obvious no one is born knowing how to cut hair right... and you can probably imagine how bad my first own haircut was right? And now after around 4 years of doing it, it's not too bad. It's not great... duhz, but it's not a mess. People don't notice that it's been done by a non-professional.
Below is a nice youtube which I watched sometime back and would like to share with you all.
It talks about how putting in 20 hours of effort to anything can get you to some form of competency. Not great, but fair enough.
You've got to get over the initial stupid barrier, where you feel real stupid and frustrated cos you don't know anything and everything is a mess, then it gets better, then you learn the key concepts, the important stuff. And keep practicing. That's about it.
It's the same for everything. The starting is hard, then you get to the real learning where you can absorb most of the stuff, then after that it gets hard again where you have to put in significantly more effort to progress further into the mastery stage. But for many people, a good enough competency of a skill is sufficient.
Like I'm not planning to be a professional barber right...
This is the same for retirement and savings.
You have to do it slowly and steadily.
You can't think, "Oh 1 million dollars, so far away, nevermind forget it."
For most people it's achievable. Save regularly.
Below is a very simple estimate of a regular graduate.
I think the increment is fair, returns also quite reasonable.
Savings rate changes as you grow older. Can't expect a fresh grad to save much cos he/she may need to start contributing to the family or starting out a new family.
$1 million is still achievable. Although $1m in 30 years time would probably not be sufficient anymore.
So yes, to save $100, you need to first save $10, to get to $100,000, you first need to go through $10,000.
Back to the post. It's quite amazing how much you can do when you get down to it, be it in learning a new skill or savings or anything that you want to do. Firstly, most important is to get started, then slowly work on it, in the right way of course, if you're learning things wrongly or investing in the wrong assets then that isn't what I'm trying to highlight in this post.
Good Luck! Work on it.
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