One insight that I just thought of recently, that I should have probably done even before, is to document whatever grand, a long-term endeavor that I am currently pursuing. For instance, if you are writing a book, instead of just publishing everything in the end, it is better to just post parts of it online as you go through it. If you cut your book into parts and talk about it along the way, you can test in advance whether the idea you have makes sense. Perhaps, through comments by strangers online, you can already have a quick idea if the big goal that you are pursuing even makes sense. This is similar to the idea of the “minimum viable product”, where you try to create the smallest possible prototype of your product so that you can get feedback as soon as possible.
Especially, now that publishers are too risk-averse that they only want to bet on writers with already a following online, publishing parts of your book through a blog or talking about its parts through a podcast would be helpful as a way to gain an early following.
Another example are people who want to learn a new language. Many people make the mistake of spending all of their time just learning through apps or signing up in structured classes. Perhaps, they will even complete the entire track on Duolingo. However, by the end of it, many will realize that they did not really learn how to communicate. Completing these puzzles in an artificial environment is a completely different task compared to actually talking with a person, who speaks the language as their native one. Learners are probably better off to shift into “production mode” as early as they can. They can write blog posts in their language of interest. They can record videos and upload them to Youtube. They can even try to commit to giving speeches in their foreign language.
I remember when I was in Amsterdam, I was a member of the Toastmaster’s club. It is a club that helps to improve communication skills by letting its members give TED-like talks in front of others. My club was in English and it was filled with ex-pats. There was one member who wanted to improve her Dutch. She then joined another Toastmaster’s club but in Dutch. She gave speeches in Dutch to practice. By the end, she had improved so much that she even competed in the interclub competition in Dutch. If you know how ex-pats are like in the Netherlands, you would know that just a small amount of people actually end up learning Dutch.
So, celebrate the small wins. Document your learning journey. Even if you are a beginner, others who are a step or two behind you still can always learn from you.