There is a trend contrary to the “be more productive, informed, on top of all, etc.” It is called the “art of missing out” (AOMO). Google for it and you will see how strong it already developed. The FOMO (fear of missing out) has reached our magic circles a long time ago, and it is one of the big players that shape the magic society as we have it today. There even developed JOMO (joy of missing out). AOMO transforms to JOMO. Whatever way you like it.
Danish Prof. Svend Brinkmann wrote some books about it which are worth reading. He reflects on the AOMO with some good arguments and thoughts, and it is an interesting read, that could be eye-opening for some.
I think in magic, the AOMO is useful, at least if you want to focus on certain goals you set for your magic. Too many magicians trying to get every information there is, to be on top of all that’s new. Too much material, and not enough time to check to deal with it thoroughly.
While this may be fine, and entertaining, it kills a lot of time and energy. Fact is, you can’t have, read, perform, or learn everything there is in magic. We have to decide, depending on our time and ability. One of the best time savers is the AOMO.
Getting the “newest” things is not the same as learning the craft (although often people claim that). It is just satisfying the curiosity. Many people mix this up. Learning (and practicing) the craft means selecting the relevant techniques, moves, or strategies, and then, concentrating on them. All directed to a specific goal.
One concept that helped me immensely besides using the AOMO is the bird’s-eye view. The concept is to get the big picture first, and then (after you made the proper decisions) dive into the details. Or, as the proverb says, you try to see the forrest first, and then the trees. Like a bird in the sky, seeing the forrest, and then descending, to see the tress, and the details.
Say you want to gather information on the thumb tip. Instead of trying to get everything about it (that would be a very long list), first get the bird’s-eye view about the thumb tip. Not the details. The big picture.
These are the questions I always ask when entering a new topic (in this case, the thumb tip):
What is possible with the thumb tip? What is it for?
What is really important about the thumb tip?
Who are the important people who made some important contributions to it?
What (and where) are the important resources?
What are the techniques I have to learn for my work, which are the most important for me?
After all these questions are answered, take action, get the resources, and make a plan on how to learn/digest all the material you have selected.
With this strategy, the learning process becomes easier, and you will save a lot of time, energy, frustration, and money.
This questioning process has helped me a lot in the past years.
The AOMO is one of the greatest tools for a magician.