Rules of Accelerated Learning, #11: Mumble

girl phone bike image mumble accelerated learning

An expert mumbler finds a way to phone a friend. (image CC Ana_Cotta)

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.

Rule #11: MUMBLE

When you are adding a new piece of ability to your current fluency, whether at the very beginning, or deep in the middle of your journey to proficiency…

The quest for perfection is the surest way to paralyze learners.

  • Learners, new to a skill, simply do not have the observational skills to even see, hear, or feel all the subtle elements involved in performance.
  • Skillful learners avoid censoring themselves, diving right into experimentation and play.
  • A fluent expression of the general structure of a skill is far more important than perfecting the details.
  • Mistakes and fumbling are the grist of learning; “An expert is [someone] who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.” ~Niels Bohr
  • Expertise is expressed by a mastery of the details and adaption to context.
Therefore, practice diving right into playing with your new skill and pay careful attention to your experiences.
  • Harvest and gain insight from “mistakes” or awkwardness in NO-GRIEF DEBRIEFS.
  • “Close enough is good enough”; in the beginning, when absorbing a new BITE-SIZED PIECE, abandon all concern for getting things “right” or “perfect”.
  • Use your PRESSURE VALVE to release tension, for example, by calling HOW FASCINATING! regularly when feeling overwhelmed by awkwardness.
  • Aim to express an overall FLUENCY with the general shape of the skill you are working on – don’t worry about looking good while doing it. Fluency is enough – later, expertise comes with a mastery of the details.
MUMBLE is a very new way of looking at learning; culturally, many people in the modern world are principally concerned with being “correct”. MUMBLE instead drives us to get messy, stir things up, see what happens by making lots of mistakes. This can invite a lot of criticism from those unfamiliar with accelerated learning; you’ll need to have your PRESSURE VALVE resources close at hand to deal with this kind of social pressure. MUMBLE, though effective, is only a strategy for intially encountering a piece of skill; as you become more familiar and fluent with what you’ve absorbed, your goal switches from MUMBLE to mastering the details, and perfecting your ACCENT.

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