Tuesday, December 16, 2008


This is >>why you suck<< according to TC.

The most surprising thing was that they really couldn't find any "naturals." Nor could they find any grinders, people who just worked harder than everybody else but just didn't have the talent to become elite.

The thing that distinguished one from another was simply hard work, nothing else.

But the weird thing is that 10,000 hours — roughly the amount of practice a truly committed devotee could accrue over 10 year — keeps popping up in different fields. Whether you're a writer, a concert pianist, a basketball player, computer programmer, or chess master, true greatness seems to pivot on that magic number.

And later on,

There it was again, hours of practice accrued equates to success. Nothing magical. The more psychologists in Gladwell's book looked at the careers of the gifted, the smaller the role innate talent seems to play and the bigger the role preparation seems to play.

And finally,

One can't help but wonder how many Gretzkys, A-Rods, or Ronaldos got left behind because of the calendar. One wonders how many Einsteins, Steve Jobses, or Bill Gateses got lumped in with the "less mature" students because they had the bad luck to be Sagittarius instead of Aquarius.

Gladwell encapsulates the problem thusly:

"Because we so profoundly, personalize success, we miss opportunities to lift others onto the top rung. We make rules that frustrate achievement. We prematurely write off people as failures. We are too much in awe of those that succeed and far too dismissive of those who fail."

The answer might be that often, your perceived failures might not be so much genetic as they are sociological, might not be so physiological as the are psychological, and armed with that knowledge, maybe you're not necessarily destined to be the loser society thought you were.

How long would it take me to make my 10,000?

1 year = 27 hours a day of practice, a mathematical impossibility

3 years = 9 hours a day of practice, possible under unlikely circumstances

6 years = 4.5 hours a day of practice, now entering the outer limits of possibility

9 years = 3 hours a day of practice, frankly this is do-able

Mind you, this is every day. This is after 8 hours of work, I would come home and push relentlessly at bettering myself in a skill for 3 hours. It wouldn't be wise to say something absurd like "sleep less" because sleep is where all that training solidifies and grows. Never demean rest.

There should be micro-rest, like sleep, and then macro-rest, where for a week or so, the volume and intensity is severely cut back so that the body and mind can recuperate and adjust. That doesn't count towards the 10,000, which means I would have to work a lot more than 3 hours a day or that it will take me more than 10 years. Keep in mind also that there exists a limit to how much a person can practice. How many piano players suffer from tendinitis? There's a reason a certain elbow condition is called a "tennis elbow." Overtraining is no myth. How will you make up for lost time? How will I make up for lost time.

At 25, I feel like life has left me behind like a broken down car on the side of the highway. It was the same feeling I got when during the Brooklyn Half-Marathon, my legs broke down and refused to carry me. Slow runners, fat runners, children runners were passing me.

"I was thinking, damn, these niggas that much better than me?" -- Kanye, Touch the Sky

But at the Brooklyn, I refused to allow my legs to refuse me. If I had to crawl on my hands and knees, if my immaterial spirit had to burst from its earthly coil and drag what amounts to the manifested equivalent of 3 buckets of water and minerals across the finish line, it would have.

3 hours a day is a tremendous price-tag. You know what you can't do if you're spending 3 hours a day practicing. You can't go to parties, play video games, fantasy sports or go out for drinks with some buddies from work. It means going home to a cold bed, waking up to a cold morning to eat cold cereal and training in the cold.

But think about what you're buying with 3 hours a day. It means never being bored. Think about that for a moment. A bored person. Who talks in such terms? A person who believes their life is a pain and a bother. Entertainment for that person exists to distract from the painfulness of living. If you pay the cost, your life will be fundamentally different from a person who is capable of being bored. They will not understand you and soon you will not understand them. Think about your average high school or college student and how much of a waste their life is. They are less than dogs and rodents. They are worms, the sponges that live on the bottom of the sea. They go through life absent-mindedly running into barely enough processed, machine waste to fuel their rotting, barely erect corpses while accumulating a vast horde of useless cultural trivia. I ask you, if you knew that there was a way to escape that kind of life, would you pay the cost?

Your thirst for entertainment and distraction is only a band-aid. Your life is miserable and worthless. I offer you a cure. Hard work, pain, sacrifice in the beneficent, magnificent sense and you will escape that life.

Hear me, Christians. Do not reduce my words to allegory. Accepting Christ is not the way to spin it. Look around at the vast stretch of Christendom and acknowledge the truth. There are just as many Christians who live worthless lives as there are non-Christians. Do not have it mistaken. I REJECT the claims that so many preachers have made in my youth: "Accept Christ and you will live a passionate life." And if they fail to live a passionate life, then they must not have accepted Christ. This is the dirty deceit of a fortune-teller.

The hand has written on the wall and it has written

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