Do You Want To Be Special? Or Be Forgotten?

Girls at sunset. How to be special?


  • The rule of the 10,000 hours says: Practice a lot whatever your most important ability is.
  • Years, if it is necessary. Mostly, it is.
  • That is the only way to get special, for us, ordinary people.

I asked people before about which themes they would like to read more (on Steem pages). The most chosen answer was “Lifehack – tools, tips, and tricks”. The second one was “Cryptocurrency investing”, and the third one, “Learning – about languages, professions, hobbies”. (See here.) Let’s give them what they expect.

The rule of 10,000 hours

I also love to read posts about how to make my life better or how to make my work, my hobby more effective, successful. We all have only one life, so, let’s try to make the best of it. Let me share with you one of the most important things I read about this topic in my whole life: “The rule of the 10,000 hours.” What is that?

people who were performing at a world-class level, such as musicians, artists, or sportspeople, had practiced for approximately 10,000 hours up to that point. ( Source)

The most important example of the people following this rule is Mozart (Wolfgang Amadeus). The great composer did just that, just in his youth.

It’s not about work. It’s about life.

That means, if you want to be very good in any area then you need to practice 10,000 hours. It’s a lot of time. Because there are 52 weeks in a year, five working days in one week (in most countries), and, normally, eight working hours in one day. That is a little over five years if you want to practice 10,000 hours (because of 5258 = 2080). Without vacations.

But, I’m not talking about work. I’m talking about life. Passion, science, arts… being good in something. Being somebody. Somebody extraordinary. Don’t you want to be any special? OK, go and work in a factory, office or whatever… and disappear in oblivion. Do you want to make something really good? Practice. Yes, 10,000 hours, or more, if it is necessary.

The lesson of Cicero

Or more, if it is necessary. Until you got really good and special in your chosen area. I suppose the required time frame is individual, varies by every person. Some are more talented, some less. We all aren’t actors, are we? But practicing can make people better. Sometimes, also the seemingly untalented ones.

Cicero… being a semi-invalid, he could not enter public life and studied extensively to compensate… His influence on the Latin language was so immense that the subsequent history of prose, not only in Latin but in European languages up to the 19th century, was said to be either a reaction against or a return to his style.  (Wikipedia)

Working in teams is the new deal

The young Cicero reportedly stuttered and practiced putting a little stone under his tongue to overcome it. He went to the abandoned beach, and talked, talked, talked, alone. Practiced, practiced, practiced. He made a sacrifice for his future. He didn’t watch TV or kill the orcs in a stupid computer game.

Who invented aviation, penicillin or X-rays? We usually know the answer. Who invented the microchip, the internet, the mobile phone, the flat TV? It’s harder to answer that. Science is getting more and more complicated. Not just stand-alone people, but teams are getting great results. In some arts, like filmmaking or architecture, the situation is similar.

We are different, but must practice

The age of lone wolves and polyhistors is over. Be very good at something, specialize in something strange, and then, maybe, you can achieve something great. Or, if not alone, at least you will be recruited into an elite team.

OK, I must admit, the truth is: this 10,000 hours rule seems to be too simplified. The same scientists who invented it changed their opinion and pointed out its limits. The new revelations are:

  • “The number 10,000 was chosen arbitrarily”
  • “10,000 hours was only the average”
  • “Practice itself isn’t enough”

(Read here.)

Many types of people exist, also untalented ones who can’t perform well in arts or science. But they can also be very valuable in other areas. Saving lives, making excellent food, or making our lives better in some way. The most important is, they feel satisfied with it. Happy.

Some people are special from their birth on, such as nobles, or who have had a great heritage. Most of us, are not in this situation. So:

If you want to be special: Learn. Practice. Work.

There is no easy way. I stopped preaching.

(I want to be a good writer, blogger, and am working on it very hard.)



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