This week’s motivation was inspired by an infographic that Anna Akana mentioned in her latest video. I had heard the data before, but it was a great reminder. The number might seem overwhelming, but it’s also motivating and helpful to know exactly how much work it takes to become a master or an expert (the best of the best) in any given field/industry. It takes 10,000 hours. In light of this number, the challenge this week is to:
FIND A FOCUS.
(click to enlarge the infographic)
No matter what you want to do, if you put in that amount of deliberate practice, you will be an expert. Even if you know nothing about it now. This is especially powerful if you are around 20(or younger). Imagine being the best in the world at something by the time you are 30. Just putting in 20 hours a week, you can become the very best in under 10 years. If you want to chase your dream more aggressively, putting in 40 hours a week will get it done in less than 5.
If you can find a focus and start working towards becoming the best, imagine what you could accomplish! You may change your plans/ reroute along the way, but starting along the path is the most important thing. Just like saving up money early on can have a huge snowball effect with interest, so do all the hours of work that you clock pay off.
Here are a few of my ideas to get started once you’ve found a focus:
- CREATE A SYLLABUS: Maybe you’re already going to school for what you want to get good at. Regardless of whether you are or not, you can create your own syllabus for learning. Do some research and create a document for yourself listing the best books, teaching tools, teachers/coaches/experts, and free resources(online podcasts/tutorials/e-courses) available to you. You can make up your own projects, goals, desired learning outcomes and due dates and just start plugging away!
- SCHEDULE: This is one I definitely need to work on. You can use the 10,000 hours as a long term goal, but that’s an overwhelming number to face each morning. Break it down and make time in your day for your practice. More frequent, shorter chunks are more effective normally than longer, infrequent chunks of time (though it depends on what you’re practicing). If you don’t commit to a time and plan ahead, excuses and reasons to flake out on yourself will inevitably come up.
- CREATE A VISION BOARD: I’ve made a post about this before, but a vision board is such a fun and useful thing to do for goal setting… It’s like Pinterest in real life (you could just use Pinterest, but I like a physical copy for my wall).
- SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVITY: Yes, everyone at the top met opposition along the way. That is not to say you must suffer more than necessary along your journey. Find like-minded individuals who share in your vision, who support you in your goals, who will tell you to keep going when you run out of steam. These are the people you want with you when you achieve your goals. People who had patience with you, were honest with you, who believed in everything you have worked towards.
- BE INSPIRED: When you’re excited about what you’re working on it’s easy to forget or shut out what’s going on in the real world. Don’t become so isolated that you miss out on the changes and news in your industry/area of interest. Allow yourself to not only observe others who are doing things that you’d like to do, but be inspired by them, engage with their work, discuss it, seek it out actively, critique it.