Rules of Accelerated Learning, #8: Start at the Beginning

Seed head Opium Poppy start at the beginning accelerated learning language hunting

This poppy seed head is ready to create many new beginnings, at the end of this plant's life (image CC kiwinz)

This is part of an ongoing series on the fundamental rules or “patterns” of accelerated learning. Each rule is very contextual; these are not silver bullets or cure-alls.


When you are trying to choose from among new skills, starting a new skill you’ve chosen, or in the middle of the process of learning your target skill…

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the scope of a skill – where does one start? How does one start? What do you do when you get lost in the middle of working on a new skill?

  • Competency can’t be built on a shaky foundation.
  • If you skip the basics you’ll end up having to go back and relearn the skill later anyway, from the ground up.
  • There is an organic, situationally relevant, and often subtle starting point for any skill – finding it can take insight and experience.
Therefore, find a common beginning, and return to it whenever you get lost.
  • Start at the lowest level of complexity, doing something meaningful.
  • Proceed in BITE-SIZED PIECES from this beginning, and recognize moments that indicated NESTED COMPLEXITY.
  • Choose your skills and adjust your starting points based on what feels most ALIVE amongst the participants – follow the energy present in the moment.
  • When in the middle of play and you get confused, or simply don’t know what to do next, START AT THE BEGINNING with the most basic chunk of skill.
  • When in doubt of what to do, START AT THE BEGINNING!
Your first beginning may not be stable; it may take some experimenting to find out the true beginning that stands the test of time. MUMBLE your way through these beginning stages. You may also realize that any beginning you choose is really in the middle of a larger process; always adapt to the situation at hand, and the most relevant starting point.

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