the grass is greener on the internet

October 29, 2009, 2:18 pm
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As important as the destination is, I love a good journey.

So when an advisory chat about entrepreneurship turned into a conversation about what it takes to be an expert I was taken aback but up for the ride. When you see the fire of enthusiasm burning in someone’s eyes, you know you’re about to discover just as much about them as you are about their favourite topic.

His big talking point is the research saying that most experts, top of their field kinda experts, have spent 10,000 hours honing their knowledge.**

That’s 10,000 hours of focussed, intense effort.

To put that in perspective, that’s about 418 days straight, or 1254 working days.

If you wanted to be at that level in 5 years, you’d need to spend 40 solid hours a week.

That kind of concentration is beyond most of us, and only a small percentage will put in the hours they need to be an expert.

(Good luck to the next person who tells me they’re a social media expert.)

The point is; to be good at something, you need to submerge yourself in it.

A similar chat with another person went in the direction of visualisation and whether it can help you achieve your goals. She’d found that meditation, conceptualising issues and writing down what she needed often resulted in lightbulb moments the next day. The mind can do amazing things if you submerge it.

Okay, so far, so good…now enter Gen Y.

We’ve grown up with the miracles of instant gratification, lottery success and thinking in windows. Multitask, diversify your skills and always be connected to everything.

As I write I’ve 8 windows open, three of which have at least 5 tabs each.

Where’s the time or focus to become an expert when the next distraction is an ALT + TAB away?

True, not everybody needs or wants to become an expert. But are we going to see fewer ascend to the heights of knowledge?

**I should note that the research was on sportspeople, chess players and musicians, but the point is the same.

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