Martin Messier

August 3, 2023

“I like it smaller!”

Long-time dailyNLP subscriber and client S.Y. (using initials for privacy reasons) asked me on a recent coaching call:

"How can I use modeling to become more effective at drawing?"

I want to call your attention to a problem I see again and again when I coach clients on skill acquisition and modeling project design.

When clients say they want to become good at drawing, investing, day trading, writing, playing guitar or cooking, they're sending themselves into a confusion spiral.

Their statement is akin to a college student proclaiming: "I want to see the world!"

They need to make it smaller. Break it up. Chunk it down.

Unless you're able to tie the skill to a precise and tangible result, it's virtually impossible to build a modeling project around it. The more precise you're able to get, the easier it becomes to model.

The first thing I did was pinpoint accurately his desired outcome.

*cue the Meta Model*

Within a few questions, I learned that he wanted to be able to sketch interior designs, meaning rooms with beds, wardrobes, tables, and so on.

Can you see how different that would be from learning how to draw cartoon strips of, let's say, Spider-Man?

Both skills fit within the larger set of "drawing," but they're two different segments of drawing.

Likewise, you must apply this critical first step to any generic skill. Let's take the ones above as further examples.

- Investing --> Selecting dividend paying stocks

- Trading --> Scalping the ES index

- Writing --> Writing sci-fi novels

- Playing guitar --> Performing 1980's heavy metal guitar solos

- Cooking --> Preparing spanish tapas

Make it smaller!

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