specialist in a computer publishing field. You teach them typography
while they teach you word processing. If you're new to a firm, do the same thing. Find
someone who can help, regularly. Someone in the office or only a phone call away.
If you want to play golf, take professional
lessons - certainly. But find a good player whose style you admire, and ask if you can play
a game or two together.
The same principles apply if you're learning new
technology. No one ever learned to operate a computer solely from a 700-page manual. Each
student learned hands-on, with a coach.
5. Start with the big picture first
Learn from the marketers of jigsaw puzzles. If you
started to assemble 10,000 pieces of a giant jigsaw puzzle one by one, it might take you
years to finish. But if you can see the total picture on the package, you'll know exactly
what you're building. Then it's much easier to fit each piece into place.
We're amazed at how often common sense disappears in
educational systems. Subjects are taught in isolation. They're often taught in small
segments, without students knowing the big picture first.
In real life, that's not the best way. It would take
you years to discover New York by walking down every street. So what do you do as a
tourist? You go to the top of the Empire State Building. Preferably with a New York guide.
And you put yourself in the big picture. You can see Central Park, the Staten Island
Ferry, the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, the two main rivers, the key bridges, Broadway,
Greenwich Village, the United Nations headquarters and the way the city is laid out in
numbered avenues and streets. Then when someone tells you an address is 10 blocks south of
Central Park on Sixth Avenue, or four blocks east of the Lincoln Tunnel, you have a mental
picture of where to go. You can build on your overall image Mind Map.
Many traditional schools still introduce subjects
through textbook lectures spread over months. You're taught to read each chapter slowly
and deliberately - a week at a time - without ever having the "big overview".
That's crazy. It's inefficient.
Instead, try this simple experiment. Next time you're
planning anything, seek out the simplest overview. If you're visiting a new city, get the
color tourist brochures in advance. They'll show you the main
Contents Page Preface