Achievement = talent + lots and lots and lots of preparation…

Funny how it takes your child doing something strange for you to realise that you are exactly the same…
The other day my child picked up the guitar and was then frustrated because he couldn’t play. He also wants to draw the pictures that he sees in his mind… and then becomes very upset if it doesn’t turn out like he visualised it.
More often than not, I do not have much sympathy. I mean: get real.

But … I think I’m exactly the same (or rather, he’s exactly like me)! We want to be able to do things without having to put much effort in, without learning the basics first… We want to run before we’re able to crawl.

Because …
Sometimes things do come easy! Sometimes you stumble onto something that’s fun and you play around with it, invest your time in it, and before you know it, you’re good at what you do. Sometimes you just have a knack for doing certain things and you experience the whole process as easy.

This reminded me of something I read in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers. He argues that although achievement is often seen as a combination of talent and preparation, it is the preparation part that actually plays a larger role. The magic number for true expertise is 10 000 hours, or roughly 10 years.

So maybe taking 10 years to complete a PhD is not such a bad thing after all. I would then be considered an expert in ____. I’ll fill in the blank once I know what I’m going to do. 🙂

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ria
    Feb 16, 2011 @ 23:17:11

    It’s Not the Destination . . . It’s the Journey

    It’s not where you end up that means as much
    As the road that you travel along.
    And it’s not the result that counts as much
    As the progress that makes you strong.
    Since it’s not the destination. . . It’s the journey.

    It’s not meeting your aim that matters as much
    As the course that you take day by day.
    And it’s not reaching your goal but who you touch
    As you share from your heart along the way.
    Because, it’s not the destination. . . It’s the journey.

    It’s not the objective that’s important to meet
    As the trail’s challenge that you weather.
    And it’s not making the finish but who you greet
    As on the highway you work together.
    You see, it’s not the destination. . . It’s the journey.
    — Arlene Alpert

    And I agree 100% with Arlene Alpert.
    Wishing you good luck on your journey…

    by the way: I like the new layout… 🙂

    Reply

    • singingwarrior
      Feb 24, 2011 @ 09:44:05

      Thank you Ria. I also believe that it is the journey that is important and not the destination. But I still have to make a conscious decision to not make the end product/goal my main concern with some things, though.
      Glad you like the new layout!

      Reply

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