Alex Watt

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It’s Not Easy Yet

One danger in mastering anything is forgetting that what seems simple to you is not simple to everyone.

It is normal that something learned deeply seems self-evident to you. According to Albert Einstein, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” But when you do understand it well — when you have studied something deeply — you can explain it simply. When you have practiced a skill for years, it becomes second nature.

You make it look easy.

But for your friend, what seems obvious to you may be unknown, and what seems easy may require great effort.

It’s your job to support them. Give them your mental models. Teach them your tricks. They might need to watch you because you may have so deeply internalized what you’re doing, that you oversimplify it when explaining it.

Tell them that it isn’t easy yet, but with practice, it can be.

Posted on 29 Dec 2022.