Becoming an Expert

On Sunday we watched the close of the Olympic games in Rio, and celebrated the achievements of people who are the best in the world at what they do. Did you watch the games? I’m always amazed, not only at these people’s abilities, but that they happened to find what they’re good at and then had the focus and stamina to put the work in to become the best. Just imagine, what if Simone Biles had never been into gymnastics? What if Michael Phelps had never learned to swim? What if Simone and Michael had found their passion, but just decided to play Pokemon every day instead of practice?

Have you found your passion? If not, I wrote a small piece of advice about how to find it. If you have found something that interests you, how do you become an expert like the people we saw in the Olympics? There are a lot of ideas out there. Here are 2 of the simplest:

  • Practice – there’s a theory that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. How many hours have you put in? According to this, if you want to become an expert at something in 3 years, you have to put in 9.25 hours a day of practice.
  • Study – read one book a week on the topic of your choice for a year. That will put you in the top 1% of people in any field.

I know what you’re thinking, you don’t have time to devote to all this practice and study. But maybe you do. Think about it. Come up with a list of things you do each day that take up at least 30 minutes of time. Your list could look something like this:

  1. Watching TV – 2 hours
  2. Browsing the web – 1 hours
  3. Using social media – 1 hour
  4. Playing games – 1 hour
  5. Chatting with friends – 2 hours

From a list like that, you could easily carve out 3 extra hours per day. And what about the things you do that could be done WHILE reading a book, like working out, getting a ride to work or school, eating breakfast or lunch?

3 hours per day spent on a combination of practice and study would yield HUGE results within a year! So, are you ready to become an expert in your field? Look out 2020 Olympics, here we come! (Is Jewelry making an Olympic sport? Crochet? Dress-making sprints? Well, they should be.)

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