Thursday, 29 September 2011

Focus (no hocus pocus)

In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell explains that people who reach the top of their game - be they hockey players, musicians or scientists - spend about 10,000 hours getting there.

10,000 hours.  That's a lot.

So, the other day, I was explaining my own background to someone, and something like this came out:  "Well, in 1975 I was studying classical guitar at the Royal Conservatory of Music, playing folk stuff for enjoyment, but listening to prog rock." 

Yikes.  Not much focus there.  I'm studying Bach, playing Cat Stevens, and listening to Jethro Tull.

Oh, and I'm finishing my degree at night and trying to get kick-start my career in a large multi-national.

I mean, 10 out of 10 for energy, and 9 out of 10 for variety, but minus 20 out of 10 for the obsessive focus that actually gets you somewhere.

Sheesh, Gladwell!  Why didn't you write this book in 1972, when I thought it was all about magic, and had nothing to do with hard work?

Hmmm ...  maybe that's why I keeping trying to pretend I'm only 18.

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