My son, Alec, gets frustrated when he can’t do something right the first time. He is still learning that practice is the key to success. Eventually, he will understand the concept of practice. This is not something to get upset about, it is a deficiency. And to overcome the deficiency, you must practice.
When I think about the things I am good at, I consider what it took to get that way. It took hours of repetition. It took patience. It took the realization that glory, if it was to be had, would not come during the practice sessions.
Often, we become good at things we don’t necessarily want to do. We are required by our employer to do job-related tasks. We get good at them, because we don’t want to spend all of our time on the menial stuff. We practice until we become efficient, and then we do the task in the least amount of time possible.
Action is the key to foundational success. –Pablo Picasso
Over 140,000 works of art. That’s what Picasso did. It would take over 383 years to do one a day. Imagine how many pieces he did every day during the course of his life.
In the book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell wrote that it takes about 10,000 hours to become a master. That’s twenty hours a week for ten years. I don’t recall giving any one area of my life that much time. Am I even working toward one discipline with that much effort?
There are things that I want to get really good at. There are areas that I want to master. Am I putting in the effort to accomplish these in my lifetime? I can’t say that I am. I only have so many years left to get after it, if I don’t increase my efforts now, when will I?
And what about Alec? Even at seven years of age, he is becoming passionate about different hobbies. Of course, I think it is wise for him to try as many as he can. But the sooner he can narrow down one true pursuit, the quicker he can master it. It is a bit of a conundrum but something I think about, and eventually it is something I hope he thinks about.