Practice: The Clock is Ticking

Several studies indicate that in order to become an expert, a prodigy, or even a genius, you need to practice ten thousand hours. You can read more about it in Malcolm  Gladwell’s book “Outliers: the story of success“. And yes, that’s right, ten thousand hours, which by the way can me translated into more than 415 days. Think about it, 415+ straight days practicing something, no eating, no sleeping, well, quite impossible right? Without mentioning boring as F.

You believe in a lie.

You believe people is born genius, you believe people is born prodigy, we believe others are special, but not us, we are just from the pack, no special therefore. But it is a lie, a cold hearted, dumb and seemingly real lie. I must say that well, some people are truly born genius, some people are truly born prodigies, but how many of them, are really born, and not made?

No one becomes an expert at something out of the blue, Ten Thousand Mother of the Tacos Hours! That’s what you need, that’s what “being a prodigy” is, that’s what “being born special” is, more than 415 days of practice is being special at something,

So, what are you waiting for? If you practice, let’s say Piano for an hour a day you would only need 10.000 days (it seems more dramatic in numbers, uh?) to be a piano prodigy, or at least a quite decent player. Those days would come in 28.1 years. So, let’s say 29 years for the sake of it, at the end you need to go take some rests, there are some festival days, you might be sick, whatever, even 30 years to round up. That’s 30 years, more than what I’ve currently lived, and I have played piano for like 2 hours in my whole life (smashing keys as a boy counts for playing?). That would make me a prodigy at age 52 (hopefully).

Now, that’s just way too much time. Let’s practice 3 hours a day instead, now we just need around 10 years of daily and constant practice. Sound way more reasonable right? Piano prodigy at age 33. Hell yeah!

What about pumping it up to 5 hours a day? Or even 6 hours a day! We all want to delight with our piano skills after all. I’ve been told my hands look like a pianist. So, 6 hours a day, it comes to be around 5 years. Fair enough I guess, I would be a fairly good pianist by age 27 or 28, even age 30 doesn’t sound bad at all. Or you could be the prodigy one, why not?

But as always, where’s the trick? In the numbers, sadly. Before you get all exited about looking like a crazy mofo, with the crazy long hair and all, and before wasting your life savings on a big ass not fitting in your living room piano, tell me something, what’s the last thing you have practiced at least 2 hours a day, for the past . . . month? Or year? Week? Do you even practice anything at all? I think I don’t.

Usually we work 8 hours a day or so, and for most people that’s as close as it gets to do something daily, to have a routine, to “practice”, even though most people don’t  get any better at their jobs, doesn’t matter the time they’re in them.

I spent around 1.700 hours playing a game, which I played it for around 3 or 4 years, that’s around 72 days. And let me tell you, I played the shit out of that game. The shit out of it. And just 1.700 hours. I’m not saying I’m proud of it, I regret my wasted and precious time, every hour of it, but my point is: I played a lot, A LOT, and it’s not even close to 10.000 hours, not even close (thankfully).

There is a big problem with us, we don’t realize the time we lose doing something. We don’t really know how our days go by, how many time we waste doing something, there is an inside clock running our bodies, but not our consciousness, sadly, even if we watch at the clock constantly, and we get anxious by it, the time will seem to fly, to melt through our fingers, to go by, like water. And with it, our lives.

That. Is. Not. Living. The Clock is Ticking.

That’s why we should all decide, and truly, truly decide to do something with our golden hours, because we have counted hours, all of us, there is just a fixed amount of time we all have in this world, and we might extend it, or decrease it, doesn’t matter, it is still there for us.

DO.

MAKE.

LEARN.

CREATE.

That’s what we are here for. Let’s use our ten thousand precious hours for something truly fucking EPIC.

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