In his book, Outliers, Malcom Gladwell states, “Ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness.”
What Gladwell means by this “10,000-Hour Rule” is that to become a master (not just an expert, but a true master) in any field, one must practice their craft for a total of 10,000 hours.
Guys, that is a shitload of time. Roughly, 10 years.
While I may never reach that level in my lifetime, I do admire those who have and love watching them in action.
I just finished the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi and it is amazing. Jiro is the embodiment of a master at the pinnacle of his craft. And while many say he is the best sushi chef in the world, he speaks of his continual struggle to reach perfection even though he knows he never will.
It got me thinking about how so many of us strive to be perfect, to do all the right things in all the right ways and how so often it can feel like a sad task of wheel spinning. But it also made me think, for Jiro especially, that the drive to attempt perfection can bring about something wonderful. It doesn’t have to be soul crushing or defeating. What if, instead of looking at it as an inevitable lost battle, we revel in the immersion of ourselves into what we love; we take joy in not just the product but the process. Maybe our endeavors to be perfect aren’t about ourselves, maybe they’re really about sharing joy and love in the most perfect way.
Long story short, none of us will ever be perfect, but it doesn’t mean that we aren’t pretty damn amazing.
The documentary is on Netflix streaming. I’d love for you to check it out and let me know what you think.
I looked up the origins of the phrase “on a lark” after wondering about it in my last post. There are two main thoughts as to the origin of that phrase.
- That it is derived from the Old English, “laik” or “lake,” which means “to spring up.” It’s thought that the world evolved over time to become “lark.”
- The phrase references the skylark bird and it’s love of soaring and spiraling at great heights.
Here are a couple of links if you’d like to read up on it: