Sunday 27 January 2013

#3 Repetition

Probably one of the best metaphorical illustrations of how to make progress in life is the progress of life itself. Organisms reproduce many times in order to try out different variations. Through this repetitive behaviour, over time, natural selection helps to facilitate the development of superior organisms... or something like that.

I've been asking a few people lately about the sorts of books that they're reading because one of my new year's resolutions is to get through a book a month. I might add this one to my list. I understand that Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" emphasises a handful of observations, one of which is that the really successful people are the ones that spend over ten thousand hours on the thing in which they want to become proficient.

Gladwell's observation is at best a reminder of the correlation between effort and results, which I just managed to point out in far less than however many words he used. I rekon it's probably still a good read though because it doubtless contains other suggestions for how a person might make the most of their existence and because lengthy stories are a good way to imprint short messages in the mind.

When I try to think of examples for success that I've had, it similarly tends to involve repetitive behaviour along with quite a few hours of "effort", with the results being recorded and various tweaks made now and again to the standard formula. The examples I thought of were all the running that I did last year, the brownie recipe that I perfected and several years ago when I was job hunting, spending hours identifying roles, making calls and logging the results.

Finding an activity worthy of such devotion isn't always easy but when a person comes across something that they wish to do for hours, then there is a chance that they have found something in which they will be successful.

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