- What It Takes To Be Great
- What It Takes To Be Great 2: AJATT and Malcolm McDowell’s Outliers…wait…
- What It Takes to Be Great 3: Follow-Up
- What It Takes to Be Great 4: Capablanca
- Aim to Fail
- You can have do or be ANYthing, but you can’t have do or be EVERYthing
- Why Do People Who Have All the Time in the World Get Nothing Done?
- How To Accomplish Great Things: Small Victories, Winnable Games
One day, I’m going to make an acronym for everything. Like, that last sentence will turn into: “ODIGTMAAFE”, and people will be all: “OMG!? AAFE?! LOL!”.
Also, a little warning — there are going to be a lot of links. Break yo’ self!
So, I’m sitting there, eating my curds and whey, when yet another good-looking reader (Gav) sends me a link. You know, one of those external links that comes up every once in a while, and just so resonates with the kind of things you read here, that it simply has to be brought to everyone’s attention. CNN Money/Fortune Magazine, way back in October 2006, put up this sooper harticle entitled What It Takes to Be Great.
Making an [sic] random English penpal sounds like quite a task and scares me more than a little. Making a random Japanese one seems absolutely impossible. [WC]
For someone like me the very idea [of making Japanese friends] is terrifying [ren]
To which der Gavinator replies:
Feel the fear and do it anyway! If you wait for fear to disappear before you do anything new, you will never do it. [Gav]
So you already know this guy is going to be sending you good articles.
Anyway, What It Takes to Be Great is pretty great. It’s definitely got its fair share of gems of wizduum, like this:
In a study of 20-year-old violinists by Ericsson and colleagues, the best group (judged by conservatory teachers) averaged 10,000 hours of deliberate practice…It’s the same story in surgery, insurance sales, and virtually every sport. More deliberate practice equals better performance.
You like that? 10,000 hours?! Sound familiar?
Next time you feel like throwing out your SRS altogether [an ill-advised course of action, IMHO], feel this instead:
[Practice] regularly, not sporadically. Occasional practice does not work.
But I think the most important line comes here:
…talent has little or nothing to do with greatness…It’s nice to believe that if you find the field where you’re naturally gifted, you’ll be great from day one, but it doesn’t happen. There’s no evidence of high-level performance without experience or practice.
Talent has little or nothing to do with greatness. Everybody sucks at the start. Write it on your liver. Practice, son. But the process doesn’t have to be, as the Fortune article at one point suggests, “painful”. Remember what Julie Poppins said in Terminator: “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, Mr. Frodo!”. Dude, forget a spoon — make a whole freaking smoothie, get a bag of sugar. Get as much sugar as you need, do whatever you need to do to make the process fun. And be sure to divide it into tiny little i+1 chunks so you can get a lot of cheap wins and feel great. Timeboxing, sentences, whatever it takes. Remember, you want to be doing:
activity…that reaches for objectives just beyond one’s level of competence, provides feedback on results and involves high levels of repetition.
So, baby steps. Anyway, enough from me. Go check it out for yourself. And if anyone finds other sooper harticles like this, feel free to share.
Did you see that? I just went a whole post without making a single disparaging comment about CNN and how they generally suck. “The New Economy: Boom Without End?“…yeah freaking right, Willow Bay and Stuart Varney! Your former employer’s policy of making you pretend to turn breathless declarative statements into cooly considered interrogatives by merely adding a question mark fills me with the liveliest of disgust?