I've been privileged to study and interact with thought leaders in a few fields. From my experience, rep matters. Repetition. That's how you remember, that's how you learn, that's how you grow.
Having said that, I believe every typical learning process follows three steps.
1.WHAT: that's where you see for the first time. That's your 0-th moment of truth. That's the phase where you learn basic syntaxes and acronyms. For developers, that's the stage where you watch YouTube videos and read books. In this stage, the chances are high that you haven't started building. This defines the WHAT stage. The longer you delay the start of the first project or the beginning of a new one, the longer you remain in the WHAT stage.
2.HOW: This is where you build. This is also the most misleading stage. The fact that you're completing projects has no correlation with understanding or mastery. Any smart person can build by trial and error. However, don't be deterred. The essence of this stage is for you to familiarise yourself with basic tools. This is where you start crafting your style. This is the most painful stage.
3.WHY: This is the stage where you question existing bodies of knowledge. This is where you tear down frameworks and methodologies. This is where you invent your tools. This is not necessarily the teaching stage. Teaching can happen in the WHAT stage. Don't conflate the two.
How do you get to the WHY stage?
Rep. Repetition. Practice.