David Knights' Weblog

November 21, 2020

What is your plan for getting better?

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 6:32 am
Tags: , ,

Modeling friend Jim Bates has been a boon to my modeling.  He pushes and challenges me, and I do the same to him.  We frequently (daily) talk modeling.  His recent discussion with his modeling friend Tim Nelson, whom I met in Chattanooga at the Nationals, has had a profound effect on me.

Many of us put off doing the projects we want to do until we “get better”  Tim challenged Jim with “so what is your plan to get better?”  It is a great question, and a profound one.  The answer can be, “well I plan to model more.”  That is ok, but it really doesn’t reach the core of the question.  What is you plan for getting better in those areas you want to improve so that you can build what you want to build.

Naturally this entails both risk and failure. The risk of doing things outside your comfort zone, and the inevitable result that you will fail.  This is something that we, as humans, are naturally adverse to.  We are risk adverse.  It is bred into us and is a very useful survival instinct.

However, because it is so deeply ingrained in us, it effects areas where its Darwinian usefulness is not applicable, such as in a hobby, such as modeling.  Thus in order to get better in modeling, we have to fight tens of thousands of years of instinct.

Thus, we have to do more than just “model more. We have to have a plan.  What do you want to build?  What skills do you want to develop.  What can you plan to build that will help you get there?  Are you willing to accept that your initial efforts may be subpar?

We are coming up on the new year.  I am sure every reader will be happy to see 2020 in the rear view mirror.  However, I challenge myself and each of you….what is your plan to get better?  Make a plan.  I am starting to.  More on that in the future.


  1. Permission requested to reprint in the Silver San Juan Division NMRA newsletter with attribution.

    Thank you.
    Martin Pirnat MD
    Durango, CO

    Comment by Martin Pirnat — December 30, 2020 @ 10:00 pm

  2. Absolutely

    Comment by dknights — December 30, 2020 @ 10:10 pm

  3. Thank you. I also now have found the one on patience, and hope to be able to use that as well. Once they are published I will send you a copy of the newsletter, if I have an email address. We’ve found that a dropbox link works best for our members.

    Martin Pirnat MD
    Durango, CO

    Comment by Martin Pirnat — January 3, 2021 @ 12:45 pm

  4. Martin. I can be emailed at the podcast email or at LOULAW (at) AOL.COM

    Comment by dknights — January 3, 2021 @ 9:50 pm

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