First comes the work…

then the mental model to evaluate it.

This is followed by then refinement of the skills and models iteratively.

When I mention models, an example would be the image an artist sees in their mind before they paint. It might be clearer than the image that is actually painted because they don’t have the motor skills or the techniques that match the model in their head.

If you think about kids, they create at random. If their model evolves more rapidly than skill, they are likely to quit in frustration. If their skill evolves more rapidly than their model, then they are either not doing more complex work as time goes on, or they are becoming a highly talented artist.

Whatever we do, there is the mental model and the skill to implement it. In more cases than not, the skill lags the mental model. That’s where the frustration comes from. That’s where the ego despairs. That’s why we quit. All because we can’t produce the work that we know is possible.

This is exacerbated as an adult because you’ve seen more than a child. In nearly every category, your mental models of the world are more complex, but due to the limited time you can spend with nearly any skill, you have a bigger gap between your mental models and your skill. Bigger gap = Bigger frustration.

The only way to overcome this is to accept the reality that skill lags mental models in nearly every case. The only way to allow the skill to catch up is to commit to the work first and stick with it until the skill develops.