Malcolm Gladwell’s ten-thousand-hour rule states that 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” is what turns someone into an expert in any field. With this in mind, when my daughter, Colbie, wants to become better in something, I tell her that she needs to practice more. With dance, with handwriting, with spelling new words, with tee-ball, my advice has always been that to become better, she must practice. With hula hooping, this advice certainly worked.
When Colbie began hula hooping, she immediately wanted to quit when she couldn’t hula hoop as well as her mother. But after telling her to continue practicing, she practiced every day when she arrived home from school for two weeks straight, and now, she is better at the hula hoop than her mom. So I put my own advice to practice and began hula hooping every chance I got. But even though I found a new fun hobby, practice didn’t help me at all. Did I practice 10,000 hours? No, but I didn’t stick with it because I didn’t really care about hula hooping. I merely wanted to see if I could become good at something by the way of practice. But the other thing that stood in my way to achieving professional hula hooper status was my build. If you can imagine a 6’4” man using his five-year-old daughter’s hula hoop to practice with, the results were never going to be what I wanted them to be. I even had my wife critique me. “Use your hips, Adam! More hips!” To which I responded, “I’m trying! This hula hoop is too small!” This analogy may seem like a much too simple one to use, but there’s a lesson here for all of us:
Practice will make you better than you currently are. Passion for something will help you stick with something long enough to see better results. And knowing who you are and what you’re meant to do will save you precious time. But no matter what you find yourself doing, make sure to have fun.