When It's Too Late For Now
Imagine you’re a football coach, and your team is down by four scores. It comes to you - and you realize what your team needs to adjust to win the game.
You make those halftime adjustments. In the end, though, it’s not enough. You lose.
What would have won the game is practicing the plays that ended up being effective. It wasn’t enough to change things at halftime, because the time to act effectively had passed you by.
It’s hard to know when the timeline to act or prepare effectively ends. It’s never too early, theoretically, to begin preparing for something. But there’s an opportunity cost on how you spend your time.
Deciding what to work on is hard. Usually, you can figure out what’s important to spend your time on through experience.
Most often, though, there are skills that you can work on for anything that will help you build the most leverage in the game, test, or skill. We usually call those actions of leverage “the fundamentals”.
“The fundamentals” are different depending on your goal. The fundamentals of baseball are different than the fundamentals of marketing. The fundamentals of direct marketing might be different than the fundamentals of building a brand.
Studying the fundamentals of anything puts you in a position where there are less variables to deal with from situation to situation later on.
If the fundamentals of being healthy is getting a good night’s rest, eating well, and doing something active every day - then doing all three of those things repeatedly would put you in a strong starting position for whatever life throws at you.
There are a lot of times where you find it’s too late to implement the lesson you’re learning in the moment - but asking what yourself “What are the fundamentals?” can ensure you’re caught with your pants down a little less often.