Who do you seek to learn from? If you only act on your own intuition, you self-impose a limit to how exceptional you might become in a certain craft. What might take you several years on your own to figure out, you could have learned in a very short time with a good resource and a mentor/coach.
The greatest athletes in the world have had the greatest trainers and coaches to guide them. Michael Jordan had remarkable talent, but he benefitted greatly from the insight and perspective of experts and competitors to learn from along the way. Steve Jobs possessed innate intellectual and creative capacity, but he learned from and connected himself and his ideas with others that made him better.
Learning from the best is a critical discipline that requires humility. There is something all of us can discover from others that have been there before us. We need their focused feedback to expedite the process as we learn and apply what we are learning.
Reading a book or finding a specific reference is a good option, but these alone can’t provide the precise feedback we might need to continue learning and mastering a specific skill. Lebron James is focusing his down time with the current public health crisis on watching seasons of videotape of Jordan and other basketball greats. He is still learning and will apply what he is learning in practice, with trainers and coaches to become even greater at his craft. He and his supporters the will individualize and personalize this feedback to reinvigorate or even accelerate again his progress.
Who are you learning from to become exceptional? If you are not interested and humble enough to seek reference and coaching, you are settling. The greatest never stop learning and applying what they are learning with others in their craft because they work to remain to create the biggest difference and impact possible.
At table, the ladies praised a portrait by a young painter. “What is most surprising,” they added, “he has learned everything by himself.” This could be seen particularly in the hands, which were not correctly and artistically drawn. “We see,” said Goethe, “that the man has talent; however, you should not praise, but rather blame him, for learning everything by himself. A man of talent is not born to be left by himself, but to devote himself to art and good masters who will make something of him.” — Eckermann, A Conversation with Goethe —
Be humble, seek the feedback we need to become better.