The “10,000-Hour” Myth: Why Deliberate Practice Isn’t Enough to Succeed
Melissa Chu

“If we work hard enough and believe in ourselves, many things are possible. Yes, there are limitations. Yes, some people can work to reach greater progress in less time. But here’s the good news: You can start focusing on what matters. When you find yourself picking up some skills more quickly than others, you learn where to invest your efforts. When you focus your strengths, then you start to find purpose.”

I have often felt that the nature/nurture argument needs one other element: curiosity. Young children explore their surrounds. Parents try to maximize this exploration by taking the children to a variety of parks, playgrounds, amusement parks, museums and historical land marks. Regardless of the talents I have I need a reason for pursuing them and a way to express them. The more exposure I get the more options I have.

I am always amazed at how early in life a child can tell me what s/he wants for Christmas. Given the amount of TV and computer time children are exposed to I shouldn’t be so surprised. The amount of information available about this planet is staggering. And all of it is available with the click of a mouse. So my first priority is to help channel my children’s curiosity onto websites that allow them to explore the best this planet has to offer, before challenging them to develop whatever skill sets they gravitate toward. The other thing I do is have my children assist me in the work I do outside my job to see what skill sets they will develop around the house.

As advantageous as developing skill sets are, curiosity has a nasty habit of running interference when boredom sets in. Small children spend very little time on any one activity because something else ‘catches their eye.’ This tendency never goes away, and it is a sobering reminder that no matter how well I master anything, there will always be this tug on my sleeve to ‘see what else is out there.’