For some reason this stuck with me. In fact I read that chapter about three years ago and it still haunts me!
You see, I'm not particularly good at very much. Any of my friends reading this would probably be outraged. They would say that I'm good at writing (I hope), that I'm a good dad, some might even commend me for my musical abilities...
And while I would agree with them, that I am "good" at some of these things, I am not EXCELLENT at them. I am not PERFECT at anything. I have floundered about through life, from thing to thing, never really committing myself long enough to become outstandingly brilliant at anything!
Ever since I read that chapter I have wondered, I have pondered and I have even cried over the possibilities. The main questions bobbing on the surface of this oceanic dilemma being, what do I want to be brilliant at, and where in this dimension am I going to find 10,000 hours lying around?
Which brings me to the point of this blog.
Today is Day One of my personal journey to become brilliant - and you are invited to join me in this quest.
For the time being I have to abandon the notion that I will ever find 10,000 hours to spare, but will take whatever I can get! Between holding down a full time job and raising three full time kids with a full time wife... I don't like my chances of reaching even half that number in the next decade.
But what I will do is keep a telly of exactly how many hours I have spent on my chosen pursuits and meticulously record my progress for all to see just how good I am getting at them.
I say 'them' because, me being me, I can't seem to settle on any one thing! There are in fact four things that I am interested in hurling my interests at and they are:
Learning how to Draw
Memorizing (Specifically, The Gospels, Shakespeare and Milton)
At a glance these might seem a little odd, but let me break it down for you...
First of all, I have to stick to my interests. I don't want to waste any time on something I'm not interested in or have no internal compulsion or drive toward. Frankly I love art, I love Shakespeare, I love the Bible and I love poetry! Pursuing that which you love is soul food, and I intend to get fat on it.
Secondly an intense dedication to the above will actually help me to achieve some of my other goals.
You see, apart from all this, I am actually trying to write a dictionary. At this point you're probably thinking, "What?!" Actually I've been slowing re-working the English Dictionary as a series of poems for the past three years and you can see my progress here if you like. It is for this reason that I am interested in Milton and Shakespeare, as every good writer knows, the key to becoming a good writer is being a good reader... it is my desire that by incorporating these great writers of renown into my brain then maybe some of their brilliance will infect my own efforts? You be the judge.
My interest in the Bible is personal and I appreciate not everyone reading this blog will understand it, but at the very least I ask you to respect it. Although I believe it is crucial to my faith it is still relevant to my literary goals, after all the Bible has influenced more literary works that any other single work in history and still remains the world's best selling book. But it is not my intent to preach here, you can choose to follow this aspect of my journey as much as you please...
Then there's drawing... now this one has come rather out of left field for me. My natural abilities have always been toward music and poetry but the more I write the more I find myself wanting to include illustrations with my work, and the more I draw the more I wish I was better at drawing! Again you can see some of my attempts here...
I've decided the best way for me to do this is to copy other artists but I'm also particularly interested in learning how to draw realistic faces and intend to start with my own. I will also film my attempts every time I draw and post them on YouTube for you to laugh at and ridicule, along with photos of whatever else I've done in any given week.
When am I going to do this? That's a good question, one I don't entirely know the answer to... but whenever down time presents itself to me I hope to kill it with my perseverance.
And as I go I hope to share with you whatever lessons I learn along the way. whether they be drawing tips or study tips or heaven forbid - time management tips!
So please watch this space and hopefully you will witness one man's attempt at going from average to eventually awesome.