Brain Food #495

We are never ready

Thoughts of the day

Happy Monday.

When are you enough of an expert to know something? Malcolm Gladwell penned the 10,000-hour rule, claiming that one needs to practice a skill for a minimum of ten thousand hours to reach ‘greatness’, although ironically Gladwell is far from an expert on expertise.

Qualifications exist to literally qualify a person for a line of work or responsibility, to evaluate and then confirm their capabilities in a certain field, whether for their own or for the eyes of others. But if you want to be perceived as a capable individual in a specific competence, to truly pursue a vocation, perhaps in the form of a career change, or to put a price on your services, such as a salary range or a price tag, or even to give someone advice or an opinion on something as simple as what book should they dedicate their valuable spare time to read, there is no indication of when one is truly ready, or worthwhile.

As writer Oliver Burkeman pointed out, “Everybody’s winging it, all of the time.” Being thrown in the deep is inevitable, though of course, this does not discount the value of some swimming practice, once every now and then, even if it will never match the challenges a rough sea will bring.

From being president to being a mother, there are different roles that no one has played before, until life asks them to. And the most important example is this: There is no school for life itself.

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