To be good at something…

… most of us would have to spend a lot of time at it. There will always be the occasional prodigy who can do crazy awesome skills without practising or through imitation, but most of us aren’t hidden genii.

Some areas are more ‘genius-friendly’ than others. Sports, for example. Someone who’s extra gifted in a type of sport can just turn up in a game and play awesomely. To improve, he/she might only need to observe some games or get some pointers, and his/her next game would just jump to a new level.

Some areas aren’t so ‘prodigy-friendly’. A genius at making movies might create some incredible stuff, but he/she actually has to take time to put the movie together, get the people/draw the characters/record the sound…

Bloggers who post stuff day in day out for years have to always think of new topics. And thinking of what to write isn’t enough, they have to turn that idea into a blog post. It requires time to write post after post after post.

Video games. For every new game that hits the market, hundreds of hours have been spent designing, programming, manufacturing…

And the only way to be sure that you’re getting better is to compare a current work/performance with an older one. That means that if you want to know if you’re getting better at making stuff (writing, drawing, sculpturing…), you’re going to need to spend lots of time writing/drawing/sculpturing/anything.

Compare 2 chess club members. A only plays chess during the weekly club meetings, B plays chess every day and reads chess tips during his free time. Unless A is a chess prodigy, we would expect B to get way better than A very quickly.

If you really think about it, the amount of effort we put into something is the main difference between amateurs and professionals is that amateurs have other concerns that take up their time, professionals can immerse themselves in their field at every waking moment because that’s what they’re meant to do.

Posted on March 25, 2012, in Random and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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