Setting the learning curve

I recently started working full-time as a writer. A majority of my time is now spent working with entrepreneurs to develop their content, like blog posts, web copy, social media, etc. It’s exciting and challenging all at the same time.

What it means is I’m doing a lot of reading. A lot. Most of it is coming pretty naturally, but some parts of my re-education are a struggle for me. It’s because I’m finding my learning curve.

Something I’ve noticed is how often people refer to this alleged “learning curve,” the rate at which someone needs to realign their way of thinking to learn a new process, material, or even a skill.

Musicians talk about being behind the learning curve when they first move to Nashville. Athletes talk about a steep learning curve once they start in the big leagues. Even movie stars say there’s a learning curve when it comes to the tabloids. Wow, life must be rough.

My question is… who sets the learning curve?

People compare themselves to the learning curve all the time. “I’m behind the 8-ball,” or “I’m ahead of the game,” or “I’m falling behind,” or “Thank God, the teacher graded on a curve,” or any other reference to the curve. Who sets the curve?

The learning curve is about comparison and expectations. If I’m starting something new, then I’m coming at it with my own custom-made toolkit of weaknesses and strengths. My learning rate, depth, and retention will be different than anyone else’s because I’ve been custom-made.

Sometimes it might mean that what you want to do the most isn’t where you’re gifted the best… and that’s okay. That might mean you need some good wisdom and insight to step in a new direction. Sometimes it means you need to try harder. What it doesn’t mean is that your value is tied to your success.

Just because an individual or an industry has set expectations for what and when you should achieve, it doesn’t mean your life’s worth or ability is tied to beating the curve. God set His image in you and you get to explore life in a way and at a pace that He’s wired you.

Don’t let some arbitrary rate of pace or degree of learning rob you of who you are in God’s eyes. You’re His creation, crafted and covered by His hands. You’re already a treasure in God’s eyes. Now, go find what your gifts are at the pace that God’s wired you to follow.

Honor God, do your best, and set your own learning curve.