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Quality over Quantity: Mastering Mastery

12 Jun

Becoming a master at anything is usually one’s goal. Master of Art, Master Chef, Master Body Builder, Master Singer. Whatever skill it is one is trying to be the best they can at. To be called one of the greats – to have your name remembered – famous or not. To reach a level of greatness that’s only achievable by few. It’s a goal most of us have.  In his book Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell’s stresses a theory that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve the level of success seen in those who have mastered their craft.

I recently read an article by Rob Nightingale titled  “The 10,000 Hour Rule is Wrong: How to Really Master a Skill.” To summarize, to article went on to talk about how – in their own opinion – the Gladwell Theory of spending 10,000 minimum required hours to become a master at anything is incorrect. This intrigued me.

With my curiosity peaked, I decided to look into this thought myself. I am eager to challenge both Gladwell and Nightingale’s perspective on 10,000 hours being the “Tipping Point” of any kind of greatness as well as quality over quantity.

Which do you feel is more important? Or do you think they are both the same? Care to challenge your own premeditated answer and check out Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers in from the Hoboken Public Library or as an ebook or digital audiobook from eLibraryNJ or eBCCLS.

Let’s see if your answer changes after reading the book.

If interested in other books of similar topic, check out Gladwell’s other titles such as Blink, The Tipping Point, or David and Goliath.

Written by:
Sherissa Salas
Adult Programming Assistant


The Question of Youth vs Young: P.S. I Love You

15 May

What is the difference really? I love challenging subjective vs norm definitions.

Recently I found myself re-watching a movie called P.S. I Love You. A little background without spoilers, it’s basically a rom com film about a woman who loses her husband too early in life and for his last act of love he left her birthday gifts to come for after he passed that she could follow in order to help her cope with his loss.

What I find interesting is how you can watch movies so many times in life and certain things won’t hit you until you’ve reached a certain age or gone through something in life that’ll make a single statement you once brushed off seem so deep and relevant to you.

There is this scene in the movie where the female protagonist is talking to a male costar and he says:

“We’re so arrogant, aren’t we? So afraid of age, we do everything we can to prevent it. We don’t realize what a privilege it is to grow old with someone. Someone who doesn’t drive you to commit murder or doesn’t humiliate you beyond repair.”

It just so happens that this quote comes directly from the book P.S. I Love You by Cecilia Ahern. This alone brings me that aha moment because it survived the process of scripting and not only made it to the big screen, but it also made an impression on me. So, it is this very line that lit a spark in that dark corner of my mind that almost laid unoccupied.

It’s an interesting observation. So simple and yet so fleeting to some – but so deep and just hit me right in the feels. We forget sometimes how grateful we should be to live. We try so hard to fight it, ultimately wasting our time and life preventing us actually living so that we can live longer. Doesn’t that just get you right in the chest? The irony that most of our adult lives we spend trying to stay younger, look younger, when we should realize that really growing old is the best gift we can be given.

To interject but also make my point in a different way – there’s this line in this song by Adam Levine that I heard in a movie called Begin Again, but you may also get it on CD – both from the motion picture soundtrack or from Maroon 5’s album V.

“God, tell us the reason youth is wasted on the young” from “Lost Stars” by Adam Levine

Books like Cracking the Aging Code: The New Science of Growing Old – and What It Means for Staying Young by Josh Mitteldorf or The Little Book of Life Hacks: How to make Your Life Happier, Healthier, and More Beautiful by Yumi Sakugawa are available from BCCLS libraries. But doesn’t the question really stand, “What makes you young?”

We live in this world where youth and being young is basically something to worship and idolized. But we forget the value and the gratitude one should have to be able to grow old. To experience and learn.

Why is youth wasted on the young? Such an inane question but it strikes true and then sparks another question, what is youth? But aren’t we all existing and growing and developing until we aren’t anymore? Aren’t we all youth? Constantly maturing.  Watch or read P.S. I Love You and see what you think!  You can borrow it as an ebook from eLibraryNJ.  Let us know in the comments if you have a favorite book about aging or what it means to be young.

Written by:
Sherissa Salas
Adult Programming Assistant

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