My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

10,000 Hours

In Malcolm Gladwell's fascinating book, THE OUTLIERS, he talks about the idea of 10,000 hours. There are no overnight successes in the masters of any field. Gladwell asserts that all of the 'greats', spent at least 10,000 hours mastering their craft. 10,000 hours. In this day of texting, faxing, emailing and same-day delivery in Manhattan, the concept of 10,000 hours is impossible to fathom. Really? 10,000 hours? There must be a shortcut. If I want to master something, I must invest 10,000 hours? Well, actually, the 10,000 hours seems to be the amount of time invested before these folks were 'discovered' or 'published' or played on the radio. 10,000 hours is only the beginning. So WHY would anyone invest 10,000 hours in anything? Truly! That's a LOT of time! As my brother once told me about the years I've spent working on my writing, "You could have been a surgeon by now." But here's the thing, the 10,000 hours are kind of like Freshman English at a big university, it weeds out the ones who aren't meant to be there. We all have a calling, a place in the world, so to speak. A HUGE part of life is finding that place, but then we must work to be the best we can be in this place. Because--and this is critical--we are NEEDED in that place. I always tell teen-agers when I work with them on their writing, if YOU don't tell your story, WHO WILL? No one can tell your story except you, and the world needs great stories, well told. The art of storytelling is valuable, necessary, and helpful to our culture. Believe it or not, I was enormously inspired by JUSTIN BIEBER in his radio interview with Oprah. He said, "God blessed me with this talent. It would be selfish for me to waste it or use my platform for anything but good." YESSSS. God doesn't bless us with immediate success or random lightning bolts of luck. We are all part of a master plan, and we must do our part. We're not just placeholders, though. It's not like those people who hold the places in the parade line-up for Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Once we find our place, we must then pursue it with all our hearts. Live our calling. Otherwise, our life will just feel like a lot of work (and on the outside, it will just look like a lot of work). Don't we all want to rise above that? When I think about it like that, 10,000 hours doesn't seem like so much. I mean, at the end of the day, 10,000 hours will pass, won't they? I might as well be good, even excellent, at something. And you might as well be, too, right? So let us go forth into our Tuesday, today, ready to make a big dent in those 10,000 hours. Or maybe you're putting gravy on TOP of those 10,000 hours, or maybe you're investing your hours with uncertainty, a few hours into this category, a few hours into that category...I can identify! Just MOVE FORWARD and watch for signs and signals and the rush that proves you're IN THE GROOVE. Athletes call it their 'sweet spot', and you know when you are there. Whether you are a writer, a painter, a teacher, a doctor, a grocery store teller, a laborer, find your sweet spot. Imagine if we were all in our sweet spots, in our callings, pursuing and achieving our 10,000 hours...wouldn't the world be a dramatically different place? Let it be said that it began with us--the artists, the dreamers, the advocates for children and lovely stories...every day, more sweet young faces turn to us for leadership. Let us lead with joy.

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