Sunday, August 29, 2010

10,000 hours is not enough

Yesterday was a difficult day. It started out with appalling summer weather. It was wet, raining, windy and cold. A day to do battle with, not easy to enjoy. I settled as I often do in bad weather, to try and write or to rewrite the subject I am working on. I decided that the book I am writing it in fact two books, and that is easier to abstract one from the other. It makes both projects possible is my intuitive guess.

What is interesting is that having separated out the two books, it is starting to become clear what the new book is really about, and even more important than that this has a total impact on the way and direction I am imagining into being my life at the moment. I see now that we, the team I work with, have imagined into being some very concrete tools for personal and spiritual development. I say personal and spiritual but these are the same thing. If you develop yourself personally, whether in dance, sport, or science, you are turning yourself into the present moment being that you are. I try not to use the word spiritual because I think is out of date and a projection away from reality just as god is.

The problem of our PPDs is to put them into context so that people can use them. This is no small task and requires a deep understanding of the human being. It's the PPDs are about consciousness and since this is an unfamiliar context, it seems that we have to create the context to go with the product. Otherwise it's a bit like selling sky diving equipment without anybody running courses in how to use the equipment. It's all very well creating a new system of skydiving, and trying it out and seeing that it works but then to making a useful product you have to provide the manual and/or the expertise.

So now I see that the second book, the one I have separated out, is really the manual for PPDs and for personal development using PPDs. And that the manual is a key item in use of the PPDs. They put them in context. Getting this amount of clarity has taken me far too long in my opinion, but then I don't like thinking first and acting second. I am of the type who acts first, finds a new way forward, invents a new technology, and then had to figure out the context in which to use it. This could take the rest of my life! Clearly I have bitten off more than I expected to chew.

Later in the afternoon as the weather clears up I go back to cement again. I'm trying to patch some external tiles that fell off the wall, primarily because the roof above them was badly built. I find in my life I'm always repairing buildings. In this cottage there are many building defects coming from the time from when it was modernized without intelligent supervision of an intelligent architect.

The builder carried out his own style of work including a completely flat roof. Not being an expert on buildings I've only recently come to understand the problem. The roof simply should not be flat, it should run at least 1 cm per meter and secondly it needs to be sealed properly. These things seem obvious to me now, but when the tiles first started falling off the outside wall, I didn't know this. And worse than this, while we did ask an architect, I didn't get this information. I didn't inquire deeper, and I wasn't conscious enough to see that the tiles only fell off the walls only under the flat roof. The rest stayed secure. This should've triggered in me a question. So I was a building amnesiac, in other words I lack building intelligence, because although I have been rebuilding houses all my life, it has not been my focus, I have not put in the 10,000 hours, and I'm not an expert at it.

By comparison when I was ask to treat my neighbour’s dog yesterday, the situation was very clear, the homeopathic remedy obvious, and my 30,000 hours of expertise became useful! Such is the nature of life.

There just aren't enough hours in life to become experts at everything. We live about 700,000 hours of which maybe we can use 100,000 of things that we personally apply ourselves to and become expert at (we sleep at least 200,000 hours, we eat for a least 100,000 hours, we grow up for at least 200,000 hours, so if we live in a long life this leaves 100,000 hours to become great things). This means on the 10,000 hour rule, we could be good at 10 different subjects, but in my experience I've needed at least 30,000 hours in to become really good at homeopathy. Our piano teacher needed 20,000 hours to get to concert level playing. So in reality, we have the opportunity in life to become really good at maybe three things, or more if we really apply ourselves. But how many people really do that?

If I analyzed my life, I've spent at least 20,000 hours on a whole range of activities which I have squandered. Probably a lot more. So I wonder how much use I have made of my opportunity of having a life?

Is in that the world's number one personal problem? Not applying ourselves to anything with sufficient vigour and intensity? Or do we all apply ourselves with vigour and intensity towards making ourselves dysfunctional and incompetent? Is it a choice? Do we either apply ourselves with positive direction and become functional, or otherwise automatically we specialize in becoming dysfunctional?

That is today's blog.

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