RECENTLY I’VE BEEN THINKING about some of the principles that ground my life and my business. With some thought, I’ve been able to articulate one that’s pretty fundamental and serves me well.

I’m not the smartest guy around, but I get by. The reason is that I figure most anything can be learned given some focus.

I see that many people seem to really struggle when they run into barriers. I get that. When you’re standing right next to an obstacle, it looks really big. Even insurmountable.

But I figure that if someone else has figured out the answer to something, then there’s no reason why I can’t myself. Especially when knowledge is so readily available.

You’ve heard about Malcolm Gladwell’s theory that it takes 10,000 hours to master something. I think there’s some truth to that, or at least the concept which underlies it.

But rarely are we talking about mastery. I want to figure out how to create a half decent 30 second video on my phone.

That’s pretty learnable, right? Especially using Google and tapping friends who are more expert than me.

The point is that I don’t get hung up on how hard it appears to be, nor that I have to become expert in the subject. I take the philosophy that I can learn it, and that I have life skills in learning.

It doesn’t always work, of course. If I want to be a rocket scientist, or a concert violinist, or a surgeon, … it takes a lifetime of work. As it should.

But for most things, you don’t have to strive for mastery. For example, I use QuickBooks for my accounting, and have basically the same system set up by my accountant seven years ago. She showed me what parts I needed to learn, and that was good enough. I know I’m only using 5% of its capability, but I learn the rest if and when I need to.

But for now, I’ll focus my learning on more pressing matters, like being the best expert coach I can possibly be.

And remembering to spell-check.