December 09, 2008

Ten Thousand Miles to the Top

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
Thomas Edison
An article in the Dec. 1st issue of MacLean's magazine, entitled How to be a Success, picks up that same theme and expands on it. According to author Malcolm Gladwell:
"The idea that exellence at performing a complex task requires a critical minimum level of practice surfaces again and again in studies of expertise. In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: 10,000".
Gladwell cites the names of a number of well known people who have achieved success and offers his examples of the 10,000 hours they each put in, in one way or another.

R pointed out the article to N and me to inspire N to greater levels of diligence but, of course, it got me to calculating just how much time I've put into my printmaking (at 2 hours per day for the last 3 years) and how many days I have left to go before I manage to arrive at excellence. I figure that, at the same rate I've been going so far, I have over 10 years of practise left to get through. Hmmm. Sometimes, it's better not to think about stuff too much but just do it.

On that note though, the doing is being interferred with these last couple of weeks. As if Christmas around the corner and me with no baking, no shopping, and no enthusiasm for doing either wasn't bad enough, the hot water tank exploding and flooding my parents' suite downstairs last week now adds to my angst. Between dealing with the clean-up and then the restoration issues there's been little time for any art work.

This week it seems to be the restoration company who's striving for the 10,000 hour mark by proposing to spend the next six weeks in the basement suite, getting things back to normal. Maybe sometime between Christmas and January I'll find some time for my next print. Until then, I'm reviewing theory and reading a couple of Andrew Loomis books I downloaded and had printed.

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