Want to do a fun exercise?
Pick three of your top 3 skills.
Maybe it's programming, understanding systems, and playing guitar.
Maybe it's writing, connecting with people, and throwing great parties.
Maybe it's throwing great events, making people feel fantastic, and having a great eye for aesthetics.
Or managing people, ensuring followthrough, and persisting until things get done.
Whatever they are, do you have 3 of them?
They don't have to be your very best 3. Any 3 will do.
Now, what would you rank yourself 1 to 10 on those skills?
Got it yet? 7, 8, 9? 10?
Most people, if they're not being excessively modest, will rank themselves pretty highly on their top skills.
Now instead, imagine there's a "1 to 10,000" scale, where "10,000" is everything you could possibly know about the topic.
Regardless of how good you are, you can always and easily pick up more points on a 1 to 10,000 scale...
...so, go back and rank yourself now, 1 to 10,000, on those top skills of yours.
It's different, huh?
It's very easily possible to rank yourself "8 out of 10" in a skill -- but then, upon reflection, notice you maybe only would have "1,500 out of a possible 10,000" in that area.
1 to 10 scales obsolete themselves pretty quickly once you get a basic proficiency. You can go from a "2" to an "8" in money management, negotiating, fitness, communication, throwing great meetings, getting organized, or any domain-specific or precise skill pretty quickly. A year or two, at most.
But that only means you went from "100 points out of 10,000" to maybe "1,000 points out of 10,000"... expertise opens up more and more, higher and higher levels, of more and more intriguing and interesting ways to develop your skills.
Once a person gets over, say, 5,000 out of 10,000 -- if that ever happens to you, because it'd reflect a huge amount of mastery -- it would become hard for the lay person to even differentiate between the skill and ability of anyone up there.
So you might have a "9.5 out of 10" or even a "10 out of 10" in the minds of the general public, but you could still pick up tons of interesting little ways to think about things, do things, new mental models, new historical references, and literally hundreds or thousands of other ways to improve.
Rankings have some usefulness, so you can chart progress and mentally size yourself up. We don't have infinite time, and most likely you want to get good at least a half-dozen different skilled areas to build the life you want.
But a "1 to 10" scale is incredibly limiting -- it stops catching fine-grained differences right as soon as the game gets really interesting.
So, on a scale of 1 to 10,000... where are you at in your best skills? Where do you want to get?
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