To Dabble or Hack

The Dabbler, the Hacker

In the book Mastery by George Leonard he describes three types of people who will never become “masters” and there fatal flaw as to why. Of these three types two apply personally to me, The Dabbler and the Hacker.

The Dabbler dabbles from one path to another, excited initially at the prospect of mastering a new field, discovering and overcoming new challenges. But when the path becomes a long stretch without any progress, the Dabbler will find a new trail to blaze. The Dabbler’s mastery is an inch deep and a mile wide.

The Hacker cuts quickly through the thicket of initial barriers of a path. They find the solutions they need to solve the most common problems they face in that field and once they have mastered enough solutions they declare themselves a master and progress no further on the path to becoming a master. If the Hacker has achieved a level of skill they are satisfied with they no longer seek improvement. Improvement is change. Change is admission of imperfection.

“To learn is to change. Education, whether it involves books, body, or behavior, is a process that changes the learner.”

-George Leonard

The most terrifying thing about this is not that I will be bad for a long time.

That is a given.

No, it is that I am announcing my intentions and goals here.

Goals which will define my success or failure with this endeavor.

Goals which I may never reach and will likely fail at.

But without attempting to reach these goals

The odds of me reaching my goal of raising young men’s literacy rates is low.

This feels like a dabble which I’ve worked hard to start avoiding,

(evidenced by my pushing past the Valve limited of 3)

And what’s worse is I don’t even have the safety of having Hacked enough skills in the space to feign confidence.

I’m a fish out of water here and I’ll either grow legs and lungs or flop till my time expires.

See you there,

With Love,


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