ten: six

“Ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness.

But no one has yet found a case
in which
true world class expertise
was accomplished in less time.
It seems
that it takes the brain this long
to assimilate all that it needs to know
to achieve true mastery.
neurologist, Daniel Levitin

ten years is roughly how long
it takes to put in
ten thousand hours of
hard practice.
(Outliers, p.41)

research suggests that once a musician has enough ability to get into the top music school, the only distinguishing aspect is how hard s/he works.

And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or
even much harder than everyone else.

They work much, much harder.” (Outliers, p.39)

i was deeply humbled coming across this neurological factoid.
perhaps something to consider when next
i meet my (un) discipled writer self in a moment of writers’ block.

and then the question came to me
if given an average life span of eight decades,
knock off my first two decades
for physical maturation and mobility,
(each decade represents an opus)

what six, a half a dozen endeavors
would i like to follow through to mastery?

i hear mother teresa say
“we can only do small things
with great love.”

what six things will i do really well
in this world?

brother’s keeping
karma burning, karma making
?????? ????????? ?????? ?????? ?????


About heartbluestockings

All posts are original intellectual property. Copyright 2010 Hae Jung Kwon. All rights reserved.
This entry was posted in Meta- physical, Writing Practice and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to ten: six

  1. Patricia says:

    whoa, deep space nine! pinky needs to thinky about this…interesting way to conceptualize…it’s blowing my mind, actually…

    how about “your life in six words”?

    how about…WRITING?

    how about exquisite cupcake making?

    i remember reading about robert fulghum, how he was taught to iron a shirt perfectly by a maid. He valued this skill his entire life. No matter what, he knew how to iron a shirt. It was a point of pride, and a means of connection to that maid of his childhood and to his past.

    for awhile i was a darn good rice maker. since going off carbs, i haven’t cooked rice in years. i’m sure i’ve lost the touch…if you don’t use it, you lose it, it’s really true.

    am i going to save the world? no. am i going to play piano at carnegie hall? no. “small things with great love”…in middle age this seems a mighty fine path to follow, like a loving husband who makes a birthday dinner for his sick wife, no matter that he’s he’s sick as well.

    what could be better than the love and effort put into that?

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