That’s Not Your Job

“Don’t use skepticism as a thinly veiled excuse for inaction or remaining in your comfort zone…You can’t change…? Sure you can. Genetics be damned.” — Timothy Ferriss

“The reason why so little is done, is generally because so little is attempted.” — Samuel Smiles

You “can’t”? You don’t have the “knack”?

Maybe. Maybe.

But that’s not for you to decide. That is not your job.

Leave “destiny” to destiny. Don’t touch it. Let it alone. If you’re so good at predicting that future, keep those psychic powers between you and your E*Trade account. The rest of the time, STFU and start actually doing something that helps — something that at least raises the probability of success.

Your job is to put in the effort, not to theorize about the value (or supposed lack thereof) of efforts you have never even meaningfully attempted to make.

The fact is, you have no right to talk about the significance of factors you “can’t” control unless and until you’ve been riding and milking the factors you can control like… 1

Learn some manners. Let the results of your experiments speak for themselves first. Let them exist first. Let the results decide what they want to be when they grow up.

Your job is logistics — moving and allocating resources. Your job is facilities management — maintaining an environment. Your job is execution. Your job is to sow.
Until you have tried, until you have done your job, you know nothing and you don’t have the right to know anything. You’re BSing either way.

So, first, do your job:

  1. Set up the environment and systems that make practice happen consistently and automatically.
  2. Try — fail — 100,000 times (e.g. SRS reps)
  3. Play for 600,000 minutes (i.e. 36 million seconds).

THEN lose hope.

Image: graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Notes:

  1. …like I originally had a joke here about Kanye West and Taylor Swift hooking up, but it just seemed too gauche.

  9 comments for “That’s Not Your Job

  1. URAHARA
    December 10, 2010 at 00:22

    Then loose hope? After doing all that? No other option? You are quite pessimistic…

    You could:

    1. Set up the environment and systems that make practice happen consistently and automatically.
    AND
    2. Try — fail — 100,000 times (e.g. SRS reps)
    OR
    3. Play for 600,000 minutes (i.e. 36 million seconds).

    THEN become so good that no one can ignore you.

    IF this is not happening – setup a new environment and systems FOR new adventure.

    CONTINUE

    P.S.
    (And why do you think that we hoped for something? Is it like praying and hoping that something happens? I thought we should DO and ACT …. and play…. ;) )

  2. Jon
    December 10, 2010 at 00:43

    The basic idea is good, sure, but this line of argument just isn’t coming together. If I drop my net in the lake, the time to theorize about the value of looking for it in the bottom of my boat isn’t after I’ve put in the effort scrabbling around looking for it.

  3. December 10, 2010 at 02:33

    I know Khatz worded it a little weirdly at the end, but he simply meant this: If you’re going to lose hope and quit, make sure you have results first. Not before.

  4. December 10, 2010 at 11:25

    Maybe give it a year. I’m thinking after a year, it’s a good idea to start talking to people in Japanese, however stiff and non-fluent you still are. One year, maybe fine, but 2-3 years of Kanji, SRS, anime and, manga, combined with zero human contact, there is a risk of going psychotic.

  5. Mattholomew III, Esquire
    December 10, 2010 at 15:21

    It’s like my dad has been saying to me for the last 27 years: “If you can control it, don’t worry about it; if you can’t control it, don’t worry about it.”

  6. hoichi
    December 11, 2010 at 00:13

    Or, as Zappa put it, Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar Some More.

  7. dj
    December 13, 2010 at 15:35

    “STFU and start actually doing something” -Khatzmoto

    My new motto.

  8. jason
    December 14, 2010 at 09:02

    Lol, I like the hours difference there. 6:1 in favor of play.

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