Have you ever watched a world-class athlete, musician or craftsman of any kind and wished that you were that great at something?
Too bad it takes such an extreme amount of time and effort to achieve such a level of skill. Pushing those 10’000 hours of practice into your daily life is just impossible!
But what if there was an easier way to reach world-class proficiency in a skill? One that didn’t require squeezing in countless hours of practice into your already dense schedule?
What if there was a way to turn learning a skill into a byproduct of your already existing activities?
Fortunately, there is. And it’s a fairly simple way, too; All you have to do is make a few slight modifications to the activities you’re already doing – and then let time and compounding do the rest.
Take, for instance, your job.
Maybe you’ve heard this hypothetical question before; would you rather stare into a wall for 8 hours every day and get paid a shitload of money, or do something you really love while barely scraping by?
This question is designed to highlight our tendency to choose money over what we love. Greed vs. fun. Security vs. passion.
But I’d argue that this dilemma also raises a more interesting question; which option is really best for you in the long run?
Sure, in the first case, you’d earn a ton of money, which would give you a degree of financial security. But that’s also all you’d get out of it. You would stand there five, ten, twenty years from now, and all you could show for the countless hours you put in is your money.
In the second case, however, you’d be spending thousands of hours every year practicing your favorite craft – and perfecting the skills that go along with it. And given that your average full-time job adds up to about 2000 hours a year, you’d reach those 10’000 hours needed for mastering a skill in just five years (and those 10’000 hours won’t just land you at “really good” either – we’re talking world-class expertise at this point).
So after a five-year period, you could either have nothing but the money from case one – or you could have become a world-class professional in a highly valuable skill.
This dilemma, while only hypothetical, is a great example of how the things you’re already spending time on could end up giving you those awesome skills you’ve always wanted. And it all comes down to the choices you make early on. (more…)
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