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.

Checking In

I just noticed that I had not posted anything since last September.

Poor neglected blog.  I guess I am just too busy living life to spend time blogging about it.

But maybe for my friends and family  I will try harder.

This last weekend was good for me. Friday night we went to Boomtown NV for all you can eat steak and lobster buffet.  I ate two lobsters and some desert. (Why would you eat salad or potatoes when you can eat lobster?)  Then I gambled with my sweetie and he won and I lost.

Yesterday youngest daughter came up and had dinner with us. That was very nice.  I am proud of her. She is both cute and smart.

Last week I ordered a two person inflatable kayak.  It should arrive on Saturday. Hopefully the nice weather will arrive also so hubby and I can take the new boat for a test drive.

Now it is time to go back to work.  I’ll try and update again in the next six months or so!

A Very Nice Day

Okra and Morning Glory

I had a very nice day. While I was watering my garden this morning I saw this pretty blue Morning Glory was pushing its way between the Okra. I just thought it was really pretty.

Totally different subject. I have noticed that my new husband sometimes backs the car in, and sometimes he doesn’t. We were coming home from the store the other day and he starts to back the car in, he suddenly stops, and parks the car nose in. I finally had to ask, “why is it that sometimes you back the car in , and sometimes you don’t? And it is not just random, it is deliberate. ”

He said, “most of the time I back the car in. But when I know you are going to be riding in the car, I don’t back the car in, so it will be easier for you to get in the car. You won’t have to push past the tree.”
Reason #102 why I love him!

How Could I Forget?

I was in the AT&T phone store today, I finally get to upgrade my phone. (Note to self… next time, decide you hate your phone within the 30 days so you can return it and you don’t have to live with it for 2 years!) I was being helped, but the clerk was having some problems with the computer so I got to spend some time just waiting around.

At the next register a lady about my age (closer to 50 than I like to admit) was being helped by a young girl and they were talking about boyfriends, children, getting married, that kind of stuff. My clerk was busy with the computer so I passed the time eavesdropping on the other conversaton, adding a smile or a nod as appropriate.

The topic of the conversation wasn’t important, what I found interesting was how much the young clerk reminded me of myself when I was a young 20 something. She was talking about life, children, and relationships with the absolute certainty that she had it all figured out.

I remember feeling that way. I distinctly remember thinking that it was all pretty simple, I didn’t know why other people had so much trouble with their children, their relationships, life in general. It was easy! Just do what I was doing and it would all be a piece of cake.

Fast forward 25 years and I seem to have forgotten most of what I knew back then! The kids seem to have turned out OK, but I think that was more luck than skill or knowledge on my part. Relationships don’t make any sense to me at all, either it is working or it is not, Lord only knows why. And the meaning of life? Now I know that no one has that figured out.

I remember when I was young, telling my parents and other “older” relatives all about my opinions on life. I remember them listening and smiling, and even agreeing with me, just like the “older” lady in the phone store. Not once did they ever try and burst my bubble. No one ever said to me…”Live a little sweetie, let life slap you around a bit, throw you a few curve balls, and then come back and tell me about how you have it all figured out.” I love them for that.

So I finish my business at the phone store, happy with my new phone. I smile at the clerk and wish her the best. I hope it is a long time before she “forgets” how simple life and relationships are. I hope no one ever bursts her bubble, and one day she will be listening to some young girl, smiling and thinking to herself… “I remember when I had it all figured out”

My Favorite Things

Tevas and Kayaks
Tevas and Kayaks

Today is my birthday and this is a picture of some of my favorite things.  And not just my toes.  On my feet are my Teva sandles.   I have had them for over 3 years now and when I am having fun they are usually on my feet.  They have climbed Mayan ruins in Belize, and hiked up side canyons in the Grand Canyon.   Sometimes I just wear them around town.   Today I was kayaking.

My other favorite thing in this picture is my kayak.   Well, the very tip of my kayak.   It is short and squat, a little like me.  But very stable.  It has yet to dump me in the lake when I don’t want to go swimming.  It is getting a little banged up and faded, but that is because I use it a lot.

In this picture is also the little lake near my house where I go kayaking. I am not going to tell you the name of the lake or where it is.  Not many people know about this little lake and so it is usually empty when I want to go kayaking.

My Kayak
My Kayak

Here is a better picture of my kayak.  And the pretty little lake I like to kayak in.   You can also see another one of my favorite things inside my kayak.  Right up front there is my camelback.  It is my little backpack that holds water, lunch, and a few odds and ends.  It has gone a lot of the same places my Tevas have gone.

So today has been a good day.   I started with a nice walk in the local park.  The flowers were beautiful. I didn’t have my camera with me so you will have to take my word for it.   When I got home I showered and then went to lunch with my mother-in-law.  We had Mongolian BBQ at the local Asian buffet.  Then I went through the buffet and picked out my favorite foods.  Sushi and cream cheese wontons.   For desert I had soft serve ice cream with chocolate sprinkles, peanuts and bananas.   Then I went kayaking.   Now hubby is making BBQ for dinner, and I hear that dear daughter is bringing home chocolate cake.

I hope your day has been as nice!

Happy Birthday to Me!