Miyo, you’ve become such a story artist!

When my friend told me the other day, I asked myself. “Artist? Have I? Did I master?”

Yoga pauseThe question reminded me of the famous book, “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. In his book, he says that it takes 10,000 hours of intensive practice to achieve mastery of complex skills and materials, like playing the violin or getting as good as Bill Gates at computer programming.

It led me to the next question. How long does it take to practice for 10,000 hours? If I practice for 3 hours every single day, it takes about 3,333 days — a little over 9 years. I’ve been a Toastmaster for over 11 years. Does it mean that I mastered it? The answer is no. Although I’ve done numerous projects, presentations, workshops, and storytelling shows, I’m nowhere close to 3-hour practice a day to achieve the 10,000 hours.

Now, let’s say I had practiced 3 hours every day for the past 11 years. Am I qualified to become a master? Again, the answer is no. Definitely not. Because not all my practice hours count towards the 10,000-hour practice. In the beginning of my speaking journey, I was ignorant about everything. I was just moving on the stage and changing my tone up and down without any purpose and I thought I was working on my body languages and vocal varieties. I didn’t know any better.

Ten thousand is not just the number. The quality matters. A couple of years ago, I wrote an article about ‘practice is a science’ in the newsletter. At that time, I was just fascinated by the story about how a 11-year-old boy practiced cello, but I appreciate the information and understand the value of practice more now than before. Still, I don’t know what I don’t know. Probably, a year from now, I will say that I don’t know anything better. I guess that’s a good thing because it means that I’m on the right track.

Practice makes perfect. I still have a long way to go. How about you?

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