Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Get It

Malcolm Gladwell wrote in Outliers that it takes 10,000 hours or approximately 10 years to get really good at something. I'm pretty hard headed, so it might take me an extra 5,000 hours. But I think I'm starting to get it now.

You have to understand first of all that sometimes my brain amazes me. The other day I punched in the number of an old high school friend...even though I'd last dialed that number in 1992. And sometimes my brain disappoints me, like when I forget what I came into the kitchen to get even though it's just a few steps away from the living room.

Finally "getting it" also means that I'm not arguing with myself that I oughta know this already. It means accepting that for me it sometimes takes a little bit more effort. Or a lot.

I get that I have to write everything down or it may not stick in my brain.

I get that I need to have a combination of a distraction and a focal point to get repetitive tasks done. Hello Podcast!

I get that I miss interpersonal cues. For me to get a message I either have to have all my active listening skills set to "ON" or have someone hit me over the head with a 2x4. The good news is that after 15000 hours of practice I'm getting better at this. The bad news is that it's still work, and it probably always will be.

I get that sometimes I have trouble stopping myself. Those are the days when it's better to go shopping at the flea market than at the mall.
I get that adding people to my mix increases my stamina and enthusiasm. If Aunt Polly asked me to whitewash the fence by myself I'd totally pull a Tom Sawyer and try to get out of it. Well, sorta.* But if I'm working with someone else I'm like the energizer bunny and just keep going and going.

I get that I have no concept of time. Not only does everything have to go on my calendar, I have to set every single reminder option so that time doesn't get away from me.

Most of all, after 15,000 hours of turning on my ears and using my calendar and grocery shopping list and doing a load of laundry a day and checking for my keys every time I walk through a door ... I get that this is who I am and that I'm really good at being me. You see, along with the distraction comes some really cool creativity and amazing energy. Since everything new draws my attention I've had the chance to meet all kinds of really cool people and do some really neat things. I am so thankful that I've been able to remain positive through everything. Even though I haven't always been thrilled with every thing that has come my way, things really work out once you rub a little persistence, creativity, and positive energy on it.
And I finally get it.
*I couldn't exactly do like Tom and collect marbles and a dead cat while my friends whitewashed the fence. But I might tweet about it

1 comment:

  1. I would do the fence because I love repetitive tasks I can accomplish without lots of skill and I can think at the same time. But I totally get that having someone to do it with is much more fun and enough stimulation to turn something dull into something at least tolerable enough to get you started.