I grew up in the Midwest. It is as flat as advertised. Snow meant days off from school, snowball fights, and snow forts. Mountains were something I visited in the summer. That they sometimes had snow on top was of photographic interest only.
Life brought me to the East Coast and children brought me to ski lessons in my 40s. When I was 48, my youngest took up snowboarding and I decided to follow along. You don’t learn to ski or snowboard in a classroom; you do it on the slopes. So, you fall down a lot. Then you fall down less. What makes it work is instant feedback. That’s what good instructors offer. One of the best pieces of feedback I got was to accept that a snowboard run was nothing more than a connected series of controlled recoveries.
If you weren’t on the edge (figuratively and literally) of falling down you weren’t doing it as well as you could. Learning and doing were inseparable.
The world of efficiency pretends that you can separate learning and doing. If you control enough of the variables, you can get away with this strategy for chunks of time. If you stay on the bunny slopes, you can control the variables. But only at the expense of learning. If you avoid the edges, you never get better.
You can choose to stay away from the edges. The problem is that the edges keep moving. Often in your direction, despite your best efforts. Better to accept the world as it is and develop ways to operate with that reality.
Effectiveness is the shorthand I’ve adopted for this spot. More than anything else, it depends on accepting that you can’t separate learning and doing. It’s an accident of history that we’ve been able to pretend otherwise.
Sure, you can find guardrails while your doing is clumsy. But you have to be seeking out the edges where things get scary. The best way to manage the scary is to find others looking for the edges.
Our edges and our comfort zones never align. Collectively we know more and can do more than any one of us can individually.