I’ve been immersed in the words of Derek Sivers recently, and one phrase has echoed over and over, both in my mind and out of my mouth.
“The standard pace is for chumps.”
He says he learned this lesson from Kimo Williams, a music professor at Columbia College Chicago who gave Sivers four music lessons at age 17 that saved him two years of coursework at Berklee.
We are so programmed to follow the leader at the pace that they are leading, we forget that there is almost no reason to do so.
The internet was nonexistent when Sivers learned this lesson; now that all of human knowledge is basically a Wikipedia search away, there is just no reason for going the pace of the group.
Go at your own speed; learn as fast as you can. Learn to keep yourself in the Zone of Proximal Development, where you are always slightly challenged.
What are you waiting for – permission? I give you permission. Go learn faster. The standard pace is for chumps.
A friend in high school took six AP classes and German 1 his senior year. He ended up taking the final exam for the German class about a week before the end of the first quarter – at which point, he moved on to some other project.
Listen: you have been trained since kindergarten to go the same pace as a random group of people born roughly within six months of you. Stop. Go at your own pace.
The. standard. pace. is. for. chumps.