Plummeting Off the Learning Curve

How’s is your week going? Good, I hope!


I’m in the midst of learning new software, which came with a warning: Steep Learning Curve. NO! I don’t want to climb a steep learning curve! I want to have fun. But then, I have kind of divided my life into Fun and Learning Experiences-most of which which started out as fun-as in, “Wouldn’t it be fun to grab that alligator’s tail?”

By huge coincidence, someone posted a photo of the very spot in the wilderness where I once set out to have fun and instead had a Learning Experience. I was twelve and following the Blue Trail through the mountains and I was not thinking ahead; a common failing of 12 year-olds. I got stuck on the mountain in the dark and could no longer see any blue markings, I could no longer see anything, actually. I blundered along for awhile-it would have to come out somewhere, wouldn’t it? I was lost, it was pitch dark and I was going to be in a lot of trouble.

I suddenly had this warning from inside, loud, firm authoritative: DON’T MOVE. NOT ONE MORE STEP.

Has that ever happened to you? I saw a documentary once where they put a really creepy guy in an elevator to see if people would be too polite to say, “No, I’ll wait for the next one.” Women after woman got into the elevator with the creepy guy, saying later they didn’t want to, but they didn’t want to be rude. LISTEN TO THAT WARNING.

Maybe the warning came from God; couldn’t have been my guardian angel who had collected his back pay and quit years earlier. The warning was so strong, I didn’t move. I sat right there and waited. Do you how long the night is when you’re sitting on a rock in the woods in the pitch dark? Hour after hour, imagining the sky getting lighter…until finally, the sky was getting lighter! The world changes around us even while we sit in the dark.

I had come within fifteen feet of walking off a cliff. I peeked down, one thousand feet down, at the jagged rocks below where they would have found my body…eventually…a steep learning curve indeed.

I made it home that day and got in a suitable amount of trouble. Parents say funny things in those situations-“Oh my God, you’re alive!… I’m going to kill you.” It started as Fun and turned into a Learning Experience. This is what I learned:

Your life is very precious. LISTEN TO THAT WARNING.



    1. I suspected other people had these same experiences. Not very often, I’m thinking, but extremely important to pay attention. I, too, was tempted to ignore them-“that makes no sense!” But we should probably trust our intuition more often-at least listen to it.
      Thanks for comment and have a great day,

  1. Steep learning curve . . . it’s something of a balance between the steepness of the curve, the actual learning process (which can have its own benefits), and the potential reward of the learned new “thing”, whatever that might be. Be it a ridiculously complicated new software, or a meandering life experience

    It’s that ratio one tries to anticipate before engaging.

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