The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

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

Now

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.

8 comments:

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 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)

Rick said...

Excellent. Thanks.

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 said...

Happy New Year, Paul.

fitnessat50 said...

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

Jeff

Rick said...

Here's to your next 1000 miles!