Not Enough Time

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There is Just Not Enough Time…

Don’t you just wish you had more time in the day? Just imagine for a moment you could get by with only 4 hours of sleep per night. Considering that the average person spends 8 hours in bed, that would give you another four hours each and every day. Just imagine what you could do with all that extra time?

You could for instance read a book a week, learn a new language, spend time working on a project, or get started on that goal you just can’t seem to get around to. There are so many possibilities, if only we had more time throughout the day?

In his 2008 book Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell brought up the idea that in order to acquire mastery over a certain skill that we must follow the 10,000 hour rule. This rule states that it takes roughly 10,000 hours to become an expert in any field or in a specific skill area.

Now of course this isn’t true in all instances nor in certain circumstances, however on average in order to gain mastery over any area of your life, it may very well take 10,000 or more hours of practical experience and trial and error in order to reach expert status. But what does expert status really mean?

An experts is a person who is knowledgeable about or skillful in a particular area. To be more specific, they are more knowledgeable than let’s say 99 percent of people in this area, and that is essentially what gives them recognition as an expert.

Now of course to reach expert status in a relatively new field may only take 48 hours. While gaining expert status in an established field or skill area may take well over 10,000 hours. Whatever puts you in the top one percent is what it takes to reach this objective.

Consider for a moment names such as Louis Pasteur, Thomas Edison, Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Mother Teresa, Helen Keller, and other historical figures of past generations. Every one of these individuals accomplished great feats over a lifetime. And in some ways we view them as experts in their particular field. Therefore it begs the question of whether or not they spent 10,000 or more hours in the pursuit of mastery in their fields of endeavor? And the answer to that is a resounding “yes”.

Historical documents suggest that these people dedicated their lives to their craft and this meant that they spent well over 10,000 hours fine-tuning their skills, and in many ways helping transform the world in their own way. And that is of course why we regard them so highly today.

What’s interesting here though is that these people were just like you and me. They ate, slept, and had very similar emotional experiences that you go through today. But what’s most important and relevant here is that they had exactly the same amount of time you have in the day.

These people accomplished incredible feats with exactly the same amount of time you have each and every day, and probably with far fewer resources that you have at your disposal today. And yet, they weren’t any different from you or me. What separated them was the dedication, commitment and the self-discipline they gave to their craft. They didn’t succumb to distractions or setbacks and instead worked with a sense of purpose that separated their actions from others of their generation.

We have the same opportunities for greatness today that these people had generations ago. And it all comes down to how we make use of our time. In fact, all of us can create great things, but great things are only created over extended periods of time through dedicated effort. There are no shortcuts to greatness. If there were, then the idea of ‘greatness’ wouldn’t exist.

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Action Points

Have a think about how you’re spending your time throughout the day and ask yourself:

  • What is my life’s mission and vision?
  • What lifetime goals would I like to accomplish?
  • What sacrifices must I make to accomplish these goals?
  • How am I currently spending my time?
  • Am I spending my time on the right kinds of things?
  • Where am I getting sidetracked and distracted?
  • What separates the top one percent in my field from others?
  • What will it honestly take to become an expert in my field?

Now, don’t say you don’t have enough time… you have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to all those who came before you.

IQ Matrix Maps

Here are links to complementary IQ Matrix posters that go into more depth about this topic:

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