10,000 Hours

I finally  got around to reading Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell.  It is a fascinating book looking at very successful people and shows that it is not just their individual skills and talent that got them where they are.  As Publisher’s Weekly states, “Gladwell tears down the myth of individual merit to explore how culture, circumstance, timing, birth and luck account for success—and how historical legacies can hold others back despite ample individual gifts.

That might sound discouraging to those of us looking for more success, it might make you think that you just aren’t lucky enough to be successful, however, that is not the message that I took away from the book.

Early in the book, the author states that people who are extremely successful at what they do, all have one certain thing in common. They  have spent a huge amount of time practicing their craft.  According to Gladwell, the magic number is 10,000 hours of practice.  Be it music (Mozart and the Beatles) or computer programming (Bill Gates), the supersuccessful spent had not just luck and favorable circumstances, but much more persistence than your average person.

What this tells me is that you really can accomplish quite a bit with hard work and persistence.  Those who see the opportunities that are available to them, who persist through difficulties and spend the time to master every aspect of what they do, are the ones who will be successful.

I find this encouraging.  It tells me that the “outliers” were not just born that way.  They may have started with just a small amount of talent, they may have gotten “lucky”, but ultimately  it was their hard work and persistance that brought them to success.  In other words, if they can do it I can do it!

So how long does it take to become a master?  Not just an expert, mind you, but a master?  You would need to practice 2 hours and 44 minutes, every day of the year, for 10 years to get to 10,000 hours.   That might seem like a long time, but is it really?  When you consider that those 10 years will go by anyway, wouldn’t you like to find yourself 10 years later with complete mastery of what you do?

So keep your eyes open for the opportunities that present themselves to you. Find your passion and work diligently towards your goals and you might just find that 10 years from now, you are the Outlier.

The Choices We Make

Someone once said we are who we are because of the choices we make.   Just about an hour ago I made a choice that will bring me closer to becoming fit in fifty.  I was sitting on my couch watching TV, when it occurred to me that:

  • #1. I had not exercised at all today.
  • #2. That is was still light outside and a very nice summer evening.
  • #3.  I couldn’t really say that I didn’t have time to exercise if I had time to watch TV.

So I turned off the TV, put on my tennies, and went for a walk.  It wasn’t a long walk but a very enjoyable one and it did include one hill.

Afterwards my hubby and I sat outside and enjoyed watching our garden.

So turning off the TV led to 2 good things happening!

50 Things I’m Going To Do While I Am 50

I needed a place where I can keep a list of all my goals, action items, changes, (I’m not sure what I should call them, So I have decided to list them here.  Some goals have sub-goals, and in my mind they all count!  When I blog about a particular goal I will  link to it here.   There is no particular order to these items, it is just the way they came out of my head.

1. Be more organized.

2. Lose 1 pound per week for 50 weeks.

3. For 50 days in a row, (Saturdays excluded) eat no sugar.

4. Don’t bite my fingernails for 50 days in a row.

5.  Say something nice to a stranger 50 times.

6. Exercise at least a little, every day, for 50 days in a row. (Saturdays excluded)

7. Ask for help from someone else 50 times.

8. Let 50 different people know how special they are to me.

9. Do a fund raising project for some charity.

10. Think of at least 40 more goals!

11. Do 50 “real” pushups without stopping.  (I can do 5 right now!)

12.  Get a Facebook page and a Twitter account set up for 50 Weeks To Fit and Fabulous.

13.  Blog about this project at least one time per week for 50 weeks.

14. Facebook status update and tweet at least 1 time per day for 50 days.

15. Sleep at least 7 hours per night (8 is better) most night.

Fifty, Fit and Fabulous?

Fifty, Fit and Fabulous? Hello it’s me!   I’ve just turned 50.  I would like to say that I am 50, fit and fabulous, but that is not the case!  Well, I am certainly close to fabulous but there is no way that I am fit.

Last year when I turned 49 I told myself that I would be fit and fabulous by the time I turned 50.  It seemed like a reasonable goal. But I didn’t have a plan and I didn’t  tell anyone and I never seemed to get started so here I am at 50 and nothing has really changed.  Except that I have gained another 10 pounds, so that is kind of reverse progress.

This year I am going to do things different. I am going to go very public, and do my best to broadcast to the world what I am trying to do.  Seriously, I am going to put up a Facebook page and  a Twitter account and be as public as I can. Because I don’t want to be a massive failure in front of the world I expect that I should be able to reach at least some of my goals.  So here is the plan.  For the next 50 weeks, I am going to make 50 changes, goals, commitments, whatever you want to call it.  I am going to post them on my blog, I’m going to Tweet about them, make Facebook status updates, the whole 9 yards.  The whole internet will know if I succeed or fail.

Here is where you come in.   My very first change is to ask for help more often. In fact, my goal for this year is to ask for help at least 50 times.  For some people that might not be much of a goal, but for me it is a pretty big deal. I am the lone ranger type. I feel like I should be able to do everything myself.

So now I am going to ask for you help.  Please help me in my goal to make 50 the year I become fit and fabulous.  Please keep me accountable.  Please cheer on my successes, and give me a verbal kick in the pants when I am not doing what I should.  And then, would you tell all your friends and ask them if they would do the same?  Maybe someone  wants to do it with me?

And just to  make it perfectly clear, this will be a totally non-commercial activity.  On this blog there will be no ads, no affiliate links, nothing I am going to try and sell you.  I  might do that on another one of my blogs, <grin> (that is a goal I will tell you about another day) but not on this blog and not with this project.   So please, leave a comment and let me know you are out there, and come back tomorrow when I will have a Twitter account and a Facebook page that will make it easier for you to keep me in line!

~Peace, Love, and Happiness~