November & December theme:
“Choose One Thing”
Posted in :  Brain Waves
Star-Forming Region LH 95 in the Large Magellanic Cloud | Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration

Star-Forming Region LH 95 in the Large Magellanic Cloud Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration

Your future is coming – and unless you do something, that’s the one you’ll get.

On the surface it’s obvious. We each have a future that we’re heading toward. But how many of us, in the midst of our day-to-day routines, appreciate that every second we spend on the path we’re on, further cements what’s coming? If you’re happy with your path, fantastic. If not, you have a limited time to make a difference. Lives are a lot like mutual funds – start investing early and baby steps are OK and the dividends are huge. Start late and your options are reduced and riskier, and the climb is much steeper.

In Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else, Geoff Colvin describes research done at the Music Academy of West Berlin by Dr. K. Anders Ericsson (The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance) on “why some violinists are better than others.” After examining and comparing virtually every aspect of the musicians’ lives, the answer was found in their histories. By age 18, the violinists in the “best” group had accumulated 1.5x more practice hours than the “better” group and about 2.5x more hours than the “good” group. From Talent Is Overrated, p. 60:

“But now imagine the situation of a violinist in the third group [good] who decides at age eighteen that he wants to become an international soloist. … The hard reality is that the best violinists of his age, the ones he’ll have to match or beat, have already racked up more than twice as much practice time as he has. If he wants to catch up, he’ll have to practice far more than they do, even though he’s currently practicing far less (nine hours a week versus twenty four). So he’ll have to multiply his practice time by a huge factor if he wants to catch up before he is an old man.”

You’re heading toward a future. What it will be is still up for grabs. But one thing is certain. If you don’t do anything differently today, you won’t have a different tomorrow.

Comment with Facebook

Posted by: Bruce Kaechele
Email the author: brucek@fathom.net