That whole "ten-thousand hour rule" from Malcolm Gladwell's book, Outliers, just fascinates me. He explains that people that excel at something don't just leap to the top of their field simply because they have talent. That expertise comes with tremendous effort, about ten thousand hours of dedicated practice.
Last weekend I went to a concert and listened to Karrin Allison accompany herself on the piano as she sang Brazilian jazz songs. As I enjoyed her music, I was thinking of how many hours of dedicated practice she must have put in over the last several decades, and was struck, not by the quantity of work, but by the faith of it.
All those years while she was practicing, doing this thing she loved doing, she had to have faith. Faith that she would keep learning, continue to improve, and perhaps even be able to make a living with her talent. Faith that it wasn't just time spent in vain.
I am struck with the same admiration when I read the work of a great writer. How many unpublished pieces did they have to produce before writing this wonderful novel I'm enjoying? The faith that it must take to keep at it until they actually get published, and then make a living at it, inspires me.
I have a friend whose family is working together to shed pounds, together nearly 200 so far. Of course we all know that if you consume less calories than you burn, you will lose weight. But to tackle the monumental task of losing so much weight, to stick to it, to have the belief that it is really possible to accomplish, it takes faith.
And so it is with the dream of retirement. Yesterday, Tim posted about why it's so hard to save money. As he says, when you opt not to spend money on something, and instead save it for your retirement, "you are buying a tiny bit of a future dream." It's hard to save because it requires faith in your future dream. It requires belief that the tiny down-payment you are making really will amount to the achievement of that dream someday.
Great correlation between having faith in dreams/career/artistic goals and investing for retirement! It does require a lot of faith for me to send in my IRA check now. With a rocky stock market, and down economy, I could do a lot presently with that cash, but just hope that continually investing it for the future will pay off.
Posted by: Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas | May 16, 2009 at 10:31 AM
Boy, I'm learning this one big time right now. Although not retirement, what I am dreaming about has taken a lot of practice and faith perservering through each dip and trip in the road. You must have the faith to know that you are only getting closer to your dream even though it sometimes feels like you are farther.
Posted by: Amy | May 16, 2009 at 10:53 AM