How do I start something?

This is part of an email I sent to a security mailing list to which I subscribe, but really, the answer applies to any walk of life. The question is, “How do I get started?”
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Really though, the answer to “how do I get started in network
security” is the same as it is to virtually any hobby or career: just
dive in and start doing it. You’ll know you’re doing it right when
you’re learning stuff. You’ll know you’re doing it wrong if you’re
not having fun. If you’re unwilling or unable to just grab some
hardware and start hacking, this area is not for you – the same can be
said for any skill. If that sort of thing doesn’t appeal to you, then
this sort of thing will not appeal to you, and you’re wanting to get
into it for the wrong reasons, which never ends well.
People with skills are rarely willing to just braindump what they
know. It’s a lot of work for honestly very little return. If you
want to learn skills from others, best way to do it is to poke at
something a bit, then when you get stuck ask somebody else. Say “I’m
trying to do X and I tried Y and Z but they didn’t work, here’s what
happened… any ideas?” Hopefully they’ll know, will give you some
hints, and that will be sufficient, then off you go again til you get
stuck again. If you get really stuck, back up, go around, try
something else for a while, get some fresh perspective.
There’s no magic bullet, no set of books you can read that will make
you an expert at *anything*, and security work is no exception. The
secret is putting in the time and effort; that’s all, that’s it.
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Stephen King says it best.