Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Sunday, January 01, 2012


First of all, Happy New Year. I hope that it is a healthy, happy and prosperous one for you and yours.

Kung fu is defined as a skill that is developed over a long period of practice.

I notice that with the new year, that there is a resurgence of the "10,000 hour" meme. Malcolm Gladwell, in his outstanding book Outliers, notes a common trait among people who are at the top of their profession - they've practiced a lot. I mean a LOT. Like acquiring over 10,000 hours of practice and performance over their careers.

If you're like me, when you read this you start coming up with complex training schemes in order to accumulate 10,000 hours of practice in the shortest amount of calendar time. Then when the Universe reminds you that you are not in as much control as you think, you become frustrated.

I think the emphasis on 10,000 is worth noting, but is misplaced. What goes into those 10,000 hours is what matters.

For 2012, I'm not going to think about acquiring 10,000 hours of practice. I will think about today. This practice session. This repetition. Now.

If I practice one continuous Now, the 10,000 hours will take care of themselves.


walt said...

Well, I'm only as good at any of this stuff as I am today, this morning. Since it fluctuates in terms of quality, I must not be a master, just yet.

I once asked my tai chi teacher, Simmone Kuo, if she had ever done a "perfect" set of tai chi? She replied, "No ... but I intend to."

So, back at it!

Happy New Year!

Rick Matz said...

We're all only as good (or bad) as we are right now.

Happy New Year, Walt.

walt said...

Here's a few from "back then" that are still relevant now:

New Year’s Day
my hovel
the same as ever
— Issa (1763 - 1827)

Has spring already come?
I feel wealthy this New Year
with five sho of old rice
— Basho (1644-94)

New Year’s Day
nothing good or bad -
just human beings
— Shiki (1867 - 1902)

Paul said...

Bernard, I agree, continual practice is the essence, Happy New Year! ...that's why I no longer make "New Year resolutions"...:):)

Happy NY to Rick and Walt too (...your names sound funny together...?! Anyway...:):)

Rick Matz said...

Happy New Year, Paul.

RunBikeThrow said...

Happy New Year, Rick. Keep on living in the moment and appreciating your gifts.


Rick Matz said...

Here's to your next 1000 miles!