Saturday, March 28, 2015

Debunking the 10,000 Hour Rule; Embracing the Joy of Doing

When my older daughter was young, she took gymnastics classes. She was good enough that she joined her local gymnastics team. She was good enough to compete at ranked levels. But I questioned whether it was even worthwhile for her to participate, because I knew, from her physique, that she was probably never going to be good enough to be competitive at a national level. Why put in all those hours if it would never be enough? Why?
Because she loved it.  And now that she is grown up, she still does.  She even coaches gymnastics in her "spare" time - while she is working on a Ph.D. in biology. 
I STARTED writing music at the ripe old age of 59.  I am enjoying it tremendously.  Will I ever reach "genius-level" excellence?  No.  Does that mean I should stop even trying?  
I agree that the 10,000 hour rule is a myth.  But I also think that it is time to validate reaching non-genius level excellence. There is a lot of enjoyment to be had from the pursuit of something you are drawn to.  It is great if other people like what you have done and I won't deny that I would love to have my musical entertain an actual audience.  But genius-level excellence is rare and if you don't have a huge amount of time or a huge amount of natural talent, you can still have a huge amount of fun.   

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