Saturday, March 28, 2020

It Takes 10,000 Hours

... to truly master a skill. Or so they say. I think that's pretty accurate. I must be approaching that number in my ongoing research designed to help me fight my habitual sins. Yesterday was a great day, one where different paths of research converged in my head. I thought I'd share a few of those with you. Maybe they'll help you in some way.


Why keep at it?
We all fight the same sins throughout our lives. Whether it's greed or anger or drink or whatever, I'd strongly argue that you're born with certain weaknesses and that's that. I know I always go to Confession for the same things.

The last time I went to Adoration, engrossed in the latest chapter of my Sisyphean battle with xxx, God said to me, "It's OK. Just keep fighting." And so I did, with more success some days and less on others.
When the Big Guy says He forgives you, but asks you to sin no more, you'd be well-advised to give it your best shot.

What To Do With Grudges

How to Hold a Grudge is a clever, funny book about clinging to past wrongs. The author tells you to hold on to them as learning experiences. Drop the anger and rage, but derive rules of interpersonal behavior from them. For example, if your brother borrows $1000 and never pays you back, forgive him, but never loan him money again.

Take Responsibility

No Excuses! is an excellent book to help you quit blaming others. At the end of the chapter called Self-Discipline and Responsibility, Brian Tracy's list of instructions includes direction to pick a person in your life who you feel has severely wronged you and forgive them completely. Examine how you contributed to the situation and take responsibility for it. He asks you to do it for one person, but it's clearly the repeatable template for a better life.

Brian says forgiveness is tremendously freeing and he's right. You'll find yourself with loads of time and energy on your hands that you used to spend obsessing on the past.

It's A Journey, Not A Destination

My latest book along these lines is the fabulous Try Softer by Aundi Kolber. Here's her summary of the book.

That may seem like the opposite of what I blog, but here's where the 10,000 hours come in to play. Your path to any skill set will include many different approaches. My father became an excellent artist as he learned color theory, perspective, composition and the technical aspects of several different media. In the end, he loved oil painting and landscapes, but he owed important parts of his skill set to practicing with watercolors and drawing people.

One of the things Aundi said that really hit me was that there is no shortcut to changing yourself and that the time spent in the effort is the reward. As you go, you have to show compassion to yourself for your failures and, at the same time, show that same compassion to others around you, all of whom are in similar struggles.

So there you go. Hopefully you can make something of my nonsense.

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