You Learn More by Doing…

I haven’t posted anything significant for the last few weeks…because…frankly, I’ve been busy.

It’s been a lot of things, really (such as family events, holidays, daily life, etc.,) but one thing stands out as a lesson that I feel I should share here.

What’s that?

It’s that much more progress happens in learning a skill by doing (rather than by reading, studying, or even writing about it.)

Just within the last two months, I have organized and run a ham radio net, took on the responsibility of net control, and put together a local group of hams which meet once a month in person to learn, share, practice, etc.  I also took up the (new-to-me) skill of radio direction finding (also known as foxhunting or transmitter hunting,) and it looks like I have gained some competency at it.

As for my plans for the next few weeks?  I will continue in my role as a rotating net control, continue to elmer some new hams, and also I plan to build no less than three antennas.

I’m not saying all this to brag.  I’m making a point.  The point that I am trying to make is that I didn’t increase my skills by passive means.  I increased my skills by active ones.  I did things.

All these activities are fairly new to me and some of it has been honestly outside my comfort zone.  Sure, I have participated in nets before…but I never ran them. Sure, I am familiar with and have used radio antennas, but I never made them.  However, in just the last few weeks, I have felt a great expansion in both my understanding and in my ability within the skill of ham radio.  Why?  Because I put myself out there and actively practiced this skill.  I tried new things.  I pushed myself.  Again, I did things.

This post discusses ham radio, but the principle applies to any one skill you may be trying to learn.  True, one can learn much by reading and studying on the subject.  I would even argue that one would even learn more by attempting to write about it.  But to do the skill is to truly learn.  By doing, you mess up, you make mistakes, and you make even more mistakes.  Then, if you are persistent, you learn.  You press forward.  You progress.

Honestly, my first attempt at foxhunting was a dismal failure.  I missed the mark by miles.  I could have then passed on this part of ham radio, easily saying to myself that it’s just not something I needed to learn how to do.  But instead, I tried to learn from what went wrong…and you know what?  The next time, I succeeded.  I did even better the following time after that.

I am no expert at everything…and that is the point.  By doing, I find that there is just so much more to learn.  Again, that principle applies to any skill you try to master.  The road to mastery is through mistakes…and the only real way to travel down that road…is by doing.

Anything else is just theoretical.

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