A few months ago, a friend of mine shared with me this video from K-Racer about how to make it to the top of Mount Awesome, when it comes to improving your skills. I linked the video below, because it’s funny, but it’s got a good message to it when it comes to karting.
Your brain is basically a biological computer. Every single time you do anything, your brain is putting a “file” into a “folder”. There is a folder for ‘eating’, a folder for ‘walking’, etc. Eventually, your mind starts to index those folders, so that it can access those behaviors more quickly. That’s why you don’t have to think about how to walk or how to eat. It’s because you’ve performed those actions millions of times, so it’s an automatic reflex.
When you start with a brand new task or pick up a new skill, your brain is putting files into a folder of what doesn’t work. That’s what’s known as the “Valley of Suck”. Each time that you make an adjustment, you’re putting a file into a folder to determine how successful your attempt was.
It’s a frustrating, but important phase in any skills development, because you have to understand what actions don’t work, in order to determine what it takes to do something successfully.
So when you’re struggling with something that you want to be good at, just stay persistent and keep practicing.
With practice, you’ll make it out of the valley and up onto Mount Awesome.