38: Why you need to reverse-engineer

Build a thing from scratch and you know how it’s made because you did it yourself. This is your achievement. Congratulations. Time to pat yourself on your shoulder. Twice. Left and right.

But wait. You only did half of the job.

If you really want to close the circle, you will disassemble the assembled and destroy what you just built. When you built it yourself it should be fairly easy. Or not? Say the ABC out loud. Easy. Say the ABC and reverse it starting from Z going to A. Z, Y, X, … I even struggle only writing the letters down. Not so easy, right?

Another example: As 10-year old I lernt to play soccer with both feet, naturally being a right-foot kicker. Because I wanted to be a both-feet-kicker I practiced with my neighbor. It was a great exercise, and I can still kick very well with my left foot. Trying that these days with my left arm (me naturally being a right-arm person) is a totally different story. Playing squash with my left arm looks so super ridiculous and helpless. “Closing the circle” by being a left- and right-arm-person is a challenge. And I’m missing actual practice right now. But that’s another story.

What reverse-engineering teaches you is that if you can do it one way, can you also do it the opposite. You should at least try it. That’s when you have the” full circle” mindset, I’m calling it like that because it sounds good and meaningful.

The take-away from today: Learn things fully, not all at once, but have the desire to be a whole learner, not a part-learner. Yes, you learn piece by piece, like with a pizza, but you don’t stop at piece 7 out of 8 – like you wouldn’t stop eating the pizza if only one slice was left, right? That having said, I got hungry. I’m going for lunch🍕.

This was episode 38 of the #weekdaykickoff 🌊. Every Monday-Friday morning. Colombian time. Until episode 5 I also audio-recorded on Anchor, you can find me there as “Alexander Kluge”.

Also published on Medium.

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