Specific to General
We can have, or own, general skills that aid in learning more specific tasks. A simple example, learning how to read is a general skill that will allow you to learn something much more specific. A specific skill, like being discipline and committed to something, can be learned to be used generally as well. For the most part, it’s more beneficial to have general skills, like grit, discipline, patience, communication skills and movement abilities. It’s much more difficult to take it the other way.
Here’s an example. Let’s pretend I’m a world-class cyclist. In order to get that good at a specific thing, riding a bike really far over consecutive days, I need to spend a lot of time on a bike. I need to get really good at specific skills, pedaling stoke, power output, hill climbs, pacing, I need to get comfortable on my bike, learn how to ride in a peloton and become aerodynamic.
I would need to have all those very cycling specific skills to get good. The good news, and here’s the tie in to the gym, is that learning those ultra specific skills and tasks can be applied to other parts of my life, if I’m able to realize what the general skills are. I don’t need to know how to become aerodynamic to shift my focus from cycling to chess, but I can take the hours of practice, commitment and determination being on the bike taught me to help my chess game.
A gym example for you. If I learn how to deadlift a barbell, a specific skill since, barbells don’t come up in life much other than when in a gym. But that barbell can teach me how to lift a couch, pick up a child and give me the strength to go on a hike, run down the street, give me an understand of what is a safe or sketchy position for my spine.
The end game here is to realize that the way you move the gym can help you outside of the gym, but also, realized you’ve built the commitment, discipline and habit muscles by going to the gym as well. You’ve got a blueprint to get better at anything you want.