The Ultimate Dabbler

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” — Calvin Coolidge

First off, let me say that last night’s premiere of LOST was GREAT! I hope that the rest of this season will keep up the quality of yesterdays episode! If you haven’t checked out that show yet, do yourself a favor and start at the beginning. I can’t say enough about this show, it is my second favorite next to THE WIRE.

Yesterday, I had a driving lesson with Hero.

Hero and I have been friends for over two years now, and I consider him a close friend of mine. We don’t hang out too much depending on what part of the year it is. The reason is that he mainly goes to top 40 clubs, which I like to go to too, except in the winter I decide to go to mainly hipster events. I get bored of too much of any scene after awhile.

Also, when I go out with Hero, it almost always purely to sarge, and in the past  I have NEVER opened, so nights out with Hero have tended to be on the dull or disappointing side. I can count so many nights where I have gone out with Hero, and we have just stared at everyone else having a good time. The time moved sooooooo slowly.

Anyways, I can always count on Hero to give me his unabashed advice on anything. Some of his advice I agree with, some of his advice I don’t agree with, and some of his advice I file away and think about later. Yesterday Hero told me, amongst a lot of other things, that I spread myself too thin.

And he was right.

I engage myself in too many activities and in the process, I do a pretty shitty job at all of them. If I consolidated and concentrated on a few goals, then I would have much better success.

I am what George Leonard calls a Dabbler.

To become a master at a task, I must consistently work at it. I haven’t read the book yet, but Malcolm Gladwell often talks about the 10,000 hour rule. In order to become a master I must work at that task for 10,000 hours.

Here is the progress curve of a person achieving mastery looks something like this:

progress1

Instead of consistent progress, I often do a task for a little while, get bored of it, then move onto something else. In this way, I have become shitty at a myriad of tasks. Here goes a very common progress curve of me:

dabbler

Those squiggly lines are the skills I have built slowly going down.

So what can I do about this? How can I break myself from the rut of being a dabbler?

Well, I think I am making great progress towards that by writing in this blog daily. I have been consistently updating for 22 days now, and tracking my progress twice a week. I can’t remember who, but a recurring theme in self-help says that success in one thing will lead to success in other things. So, by keeping consistent with this blog, I will likely become successful in other goals, as well.

So yes, Hero is right when he  says that I spread myself too thin. It’s true, in addition to my goals listed in the Best Year of My Life, there are a TON of other leisure activities I engage in. Fantasy Basketball, Travian, my incessant addiction to my Google Reader, comic books, wrestling, the list goes on.

What I need to do is prioritize. First and foremost, I think that the goals listed in the Best Year of My Life are highly doable-many of the tasks don’t require daily practice and even those that do can be reduced.

I think it is also important that if I don’t complete a task, I need to stop kicking myself over it. Oftentimes I start calling myself a failure because I haven’t completed x activity. Also, I have this tendency to go out on a whim and sign myself up for stuff I know that I have no time to do. I have gotten better in the past year, but improvement still needs to be made. Instead of adding tasks, I need to start cutting tasks.

I am going out tonight with King Lear. The redhead also told me she will be there, although she did cancel on our date last night. My goal is to first and foremost, have a good time, but also to shut the fuck up, be a man, and talk to some stranger girls.

Good job, Leigh.

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