Bigger results early, then diminishing returns
Slow start, then smart
The lessons

The term "learning curve" refers to two different key realities. 


One is in accordance with the 80/20 Rule, where one picks off the top 20% of what is important and gets 80% of the results.  So in this curve, you'll start off with much greater impact for each amount of effort and over time you'll go to what is less impactful and you'll get a diminished return.  See The Law Of Diminishing Returns, which is used in decisionmaking to stop doing something which has diminished in returns and to start doing something else with a greater return, similar to what you would do if you were operating by the 80/20 Rule.  


This learning curve is a "cumulative" curve. 

When you start at the bottom and you learn the basics, it seems like you're not getting anywhere, for quite a while.  Those who want instant learning results will give up too soon and end up like Sisyphus in the piece on The Power Of Concentrated Focus.   So the curve will look flat (no gain) over time.

Basically, you'll feel stupid and a bit like an idiot.  A classic example is what people go through when starting any organization, where you're asking lots of questions, being relatively frustrated and lack confidence, gradually build, and then start taking off (if you didn't quit before that).  See The Seven Stages Of A Business, noting that this is analogous to building a working life (which is, in a sense, an "organization").

People quit too early.  They can't wait for the "pot of water to come to a boil".  They probably don't have the knowledge that what they are doing will work or see that it has worked for others and should work for them.   They need to go to completion on a sound plan using the Steps For Success that apply to anything.


Then a funny thing will happen - everything will suddenly seem to make sense and to be usable.

You'll find that learning the tools is as useful as having a set of tools to use in doing a carpentry job, instead of doing things without tools, the hard way. 

The vocabulary (a set of tools) builds so that things make sense and you can distinguish one thing from another usefully.  Read The Power Of Distinctions.

Pretty soon more and more comes together in a synergistic effect (where one plus one equals more than two).  Or "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts".  Read the synergy discussion in Diminishing Marginal Returns, where productivity actually goes up for awhile.

Suddenly you get to the stage where you can actually be productive and make sense of it all, rather than doing a bunch of memorizing and distinguishing exercises.  The rate of usefulness and gains accelerates, so the formerly flat-seeming curve begins to go up.

Gains                                                           x
                                                            x                    ↑
                                                    x        →      Pt. of "sufficiency"
                                   x    x   x                        Not yet sufficient
               x     x    x                                                    ↓
     Time -->


Get a good plan that you have good reason to believe will work to get results.

But in all planning, don't start something that is not worthwhile with a reasonable chance of success.  Use the Carpenter's Rule:  Measure twice, cut once.

Realize it will take time to make progress.  Don't quit.

Use a coach if you can, to encourage you and to remind you that the plan is workable.

Enjoy the great rewards of sticking to the learning curve to get the results!

Directed, Effective Learning - As long as you need to learn things in life, wouldn't it make sense to be able to do this.

The Essential Life Skills - You MUST learn these if you are to have a great life!

The Progression Curve - Similar to the learning curve, but...

At First You're Incompetent - One of the realities, as you go through the stages of learning and developing.

The Power Of Concentrated Focus - You won't get very far along without this. It'll shorten the path to a great life, for sure.

Steps For Success 

The Power Of Distinctions - Without "distinguishing", everything is a blurry mess where we cannot really discern what's up in life!