I want to be a great…..I don’t quite know just yet
I can fill that space with the following: writer, director, producer and probably a few other things
The more I look at that list of things I want to do; the more I realise that each one individually is a craft and a specific skill set of its own with its own unique requirements
In this day and age of social media memes, likes and retweets, where people can go viral in an instant, it can be disheartening to look at your own progress in comparison to others
This is my 11th blog post in as many days but already I find myself feeling impatient at the progress (or lack thereof) I have made so far
Suddenly, I’m caring about whether a blog post has been liked or not and why the heck nobody other than two friends I already know has decided to follow my blog yet, as if that’s the be all and end all of why I’m doing what I’m doing (it’s not)
Here is the be all and end all
To get better
I want to write better, to articulate thoughts and ideas more concise and succinctly. I want to get a better grasp of the english vocabulary and paint powerful imagery because of it. I want my points to connect with people I haven’t met, people I may disagree with and people walking a similar path
A picture can say a thousand words but words can inspire a million pictures in your mind
So I ultimately, want to write so well that I can eventually enter the global conversation happening every day
But here’s the thing
All of that takes time
Approximately 10,000 hours according to Malcolm Gladwell and his book ‘Outliers’
I’ve barely scratched 5 hours on this blog (if that) so I’ve recently had to remind myself that the most important thing I can do is respect my craft. To place value in creating great content more than going viral
A hard won skill produces incredible ripples that you currently can’t see, so why short change yourself for likes and comments?
By the way, comment and like this post, it would make me feel great no doubt but even if you dont, I’m not doing it for that or I should honestly say, I’m not doing it for just that. It doesn’t feel motivating enough to sustain this activity in the long run
I don’t know what your chosen craft is, how far along the journey you already are but I’d like you to consider how much respect you have for the craft, what kind of value do you place on improve said craft and if you continued as you have been for the next, say 5 years, where would your craft land you?
10,000 hours to master anything
Do the maths:even if you worked 24 hours out of every day which means no rest, no sleep, no socialising, no nothing else, that would still be 416 days of hard work, just to master it.
(If my maths is wrong, someone please correct me)
Now the above is not possible and even if it was, I certainly wouldn’t recommend it but that’s not the point, the point being, even if all you did was focus solely on your craft and mastering it all day long, it would still take you over a year and a bit to achieve it – thats without any rest or sleep
So, how valuable does the time you do have become since you will have other commitments requiring your time and attention?
For most of us, our chosen craft does not currently pay the bills which means nobody is paying us to work and improve on it Monday to Friday, so we have to find pockets of our own time to develop ourselves further
Factor in social life, tiredness, sleep, life being life (i.e. random events blindsiding you) and you have a valid list of reasons to hardly spend anytime on your craft.
But you have to respect it, its the only way you will ultimately honour it and commit to it in the long run. Just like we are all taught to respect the power of fire, electricity and many other things that can cause us harm if mishandled, We should also come to a place of respecting the craft we have chosen
Mishandling it is tantamount to mishandling your life and all the potential you possess within. To dishonour it means to dishonour yourself, to essentially turn your back on yourself and decide to never discover what you are truly capable of
I don’t know about you but that to me sounds like too steep a price to pay
It’s too costly in my books
So instead, I choose to pay the price of respecting this craft of mine and committing to it wholeheartedly. I choose to put up with the highs and lows, keeping my head down so as not to be distracted by anything
And I grind, knowing that the clock is ticking. Every second counts. It all eventually adds up and ultimately, we all reap from what we’ve sown
Yet, I do one more thing each day
No matter how many hours I put into anything I love, at the very end of that day, I forget about it and reset the clock, I’m still racking in the time, but I’m just not gonna focus on how much time I’ve actually put in, which means I wont know how far i truly have left to go because in my mind I’m still at the very beginning
I start fresh