So you guys know that I love to read.
Well, there are certain books that really touch me and one of those was called "Peak" by K. Anders Ericsson. The gist of the book is this:
Talent is not a thing. We are all set up to be able to succeed at anything that we want to. Every single person that has ever been a prodigy is someone who had parents that started them young, they became interested, and then they practiced that over and over. Not all practice is created equal, and DELIBERATE practice is what is needed. Deliberate practice is simply doing the things that you aren't necessarily good at. It's all about doing the hard stuff to lead to the changing of the physical body, athletic pursuit, or mental capacity. So, YOU, my friend, can be the next prodigy! :)
National Geographic put out a magazine this week called "The Science of Genius" and because it's $13.99, I just read it in line every time I go to the grocery store because I'm a thief, but I digress. I haven't made it all the way through (ha), but they present some different ideas around the cognitive functions of those that have become famous for their brains in all kinds of different areas. Einstein is the #1 known genius for the most part, but he is obviously not the only one, and his specialty was mathematics and theoretical physics. That's not my specialty, nom sayin? ;) But that doesn't mean that you or I can't be geniuses. My husband used to tell me this all the time, and I just always was like "blah blah thanks for the back handed compliment" but I'm starting to see the validity.
We all have gifts, and those preferences and things that spark our interests started when we were very young. Many times we actually leave those things because that's not what is expected of us as we march through our little "narratives" that we call our lives. That's what I've found so hard the past two years. I started to realize that I felt like I wasn't beating to my own drum, but rather the drum that I had just kinda fell into because I was trying to be this perfect little member of everything that I had been taught. But was that me? Maybe it really was. Maybe it wasn't. Is there even a real me or was it just a collection of experiences even up until yesterday that have come together to form the thoughts that I have? So basically, what should I pursue in terms of deliberate practice? What was my interest? I've realized I'm actually a person who likes to be able to label myself. ha. I'M A VEGAN. I'M A RUNNER. I'M A PHARMACIST. I'M A READER. Like, girl-chill. Just do your thing. LOL! So, apologies in advance for when I know I'll do it over and over again!
The reason that I say that is because it has been hard for me to figure out where I wanted to put my deliberate practice. When you are working for someone or something, there are many different avenues within that sector that could be your specialty, or it might be that you want to put your deliberate practice into your hobby? I know that it shouldn't be this complicated, but I also think that it would be really cool to look back in 30 years and know that you got down in the muck. You got down into the nitty gritty of something when it was hard and you didn't know, and you were embarrassed by just how little you knew, and THEN you conquered it. That's what deliberate practice is all about.
It's about not becoming complacent with the areas in your life that you can improve, and not getting upset when a coworker or boss calls you out on it. And not being afraid to say that you're sorry but that you can promise that you'll do better. It's not shaming yourself but about showing up. It's about cultivating a life of patience because it's not about having the highest paycheck by next week. It's not about getting through school as fast as you can and cramming it all in just to pay student loans and work the 9-5. It's about figuring out what you love the most, and literally committing your very existence to it.
Some will say that this is too much. And that's fine also. We all were made for different things. That's those things in the beginning that I meant we all position ourselves even in childhood towards these things, but one thing that I let myself believe is that I needed to be less serious about my career because that wasn't accepted. You have to care about people, and "rest more". It actually became quite toxic for me because it was a narrative I heard constantly. Working hard and deliberate practice and grit are seen as a good thing when we look back at what someone has accomplished, but when you see someone in the every day, they are deemed obsessive, etc etc. You get the point.
There is nothing that I have loved more than dissolving myself in the deliberate practice of knowledge; taking the things that I did not know and learning about them in in all of their intricacies. I don't know which direction that I want to head right now with my "mastery through deliberate practice" which is just jargon that's used, but that I'm just continually learning every single day. The other thing I couldn't love more is increasing athletic pursuits. This year has been a restful year, and I know that all of that in and of itself is deliberate practice of something that I wasn't good at, and it all comes full circle.
You ARE capable. Take your weaknesses and work every day until you turn them into your strengths. Never back down. But make sure that you are working on the hard stuff. Do the interval training. Do the long nights after work studying. It WILL pay off, and I don't mean in the ways of a paycheck but in the reward of knowing that you gave something your all because you loved it. And if you don't love it, then you literally should stop tomorrow.
Fun New Reads:
- The Longevity Book - Cameron Diaz
- Originals - Adam Grant
- QxMd - App on phone and online - geeking out over all the new studies that are published (https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29053995/effects-of-a-whey-protein-supplementation-on-oxidative-stress-body-composition-and-glucose-metabolism-among-overweight-people-affected-by-diabetes-mellitus-or-impaired-fasting-glucose-a-pilot-study)
- Social Science Research Network - I populate to "Date Descending" and read all the newest! Here's a fun one about how to prosecute criminals using neuroscience with mental illness (https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3233438)
Newest Fan Girl:
- Elizabeth Nance - directs lab at the University of Washington (where she is a professor) on nanotechnology for the development of neurodevelopment and psychiatric disease states. She was named Forbes 30 under 30 in science (she's 29) and is from Charlotte. She might be one of the most inspiring people in science to me period. Here's a podcast she did with STEM Talk. https://www.ihmc.us/stemtalk/episode-71/
- STEM Talk
- Model Health Show
- Learn True Health
Hope those are new fun things for you to explore! Let me know your favorites. I'm always looking for new ones!