Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Linkee-poo is waiting for the Spiders from Mars

Ryan Britt talks about the future of the book through the lens of science fiction.

Building scenes for effectiveness.

When learning a skill, motivation is needed, but it's not all that's required. There is a point in almost anything you do that raw motivation can get you to. However, at that point there is a wall you need to bust through. Think of it like the proverbial "wall" of marathon running. That point is the division between amateur and pro-am level. It is the 95% point of excellence (it's a business planning concept, the first 95% of a project will take 95% of the time and energy, the last 5% will take the other 95% of time and energy). It's that point where you ask yourself, "just what am I willing to do and give up to achieve my dream." It's a lot of work. And if you're not willing to go that distance it's perfectly okay. I know lots of "good enough" guitarists, poets, writers, designers, athletes, etc. They enjoy what they do and they're pretty damn good. But if you want to go farther, you need to give that other effort. If the first part is "motivation", let's call this second phase "determination." And don't think it's easy afterward, there are another series of "walls" after that one. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

I think I've said before that the best, "naturally good" guitarists are not the ones you see up on stage. The "naturals" tend to burn out at that first wall. It's the ones that had to work hard at it that busted through that wall. Same for designers. Hmm, I may have to do a whole post on this.

Gov. Sam Brownback, you're a douche. And yes, I linked to your page to make it easier for your staff to find this. (Grokked from Eric)

4 comments:

David said...

When learning a skill, motivation is needed, but it's not all that's required.

Mike Royko put that best when he described the function of the Chicago Cubs as being there to remind us that if you follow your dreams and you truly believe with all your heart and you work your fingers to the bone and you give it all you've got, you will still fail if you have no talent.

Steve Buchheit said...

Hey Dave, well, I'm from Cleveland, do we want to start comparing baseball teams?

And while having a smidgeon of talent is required, it, IMHO, isn't the major part of success. As we used to say in band (Stage, Marching, Orchestra, and a few garage bands I belonged to), practice makes permanent, not perfect.

Maybe the difference is the level of motivation. I take "motivation" here to be, "I really want this." Sort of like sneaking McD's fries from the bag before you get home. Where the motivation and drive to really succeed should be that the paramedics find you in your car with ketchup and grease smeared on your face and hair, the bag clutched to your chest, and the remnants of the paper wrappers still floating as shreds in the air.

However, this is all part of the "work hard, go to college, and you'll succeed" mentality. Which, as we know now, doesn't work and isn't all that's needed.

Yeah, I think I need to write a whole post on this soon.

David said...

Actually I'm from Philadelphia - my hometown baseball team is the only sports franchise in human history to have lost over 10,000 games. And nobody thinks they're "lovable" like the Cubs, either. ;)

I've always regarded talent as being part of the "necessary but not sufficient" pile - you can work all you want, but contrary to the Great American Myth determination, pluck and swelling background violin music aren't sufficient either.

Of course, having survived graduate school, I can say from observation that the people who made it weren't necessarily the most talented, just the ones who put what talent they had to the hardest work. Talented but unmotivated and lazy will get you only so far.

You need it all for success, plus things you can't control as well.

I'll look forward to that post.

Steve Buchheit said...

Hey Dave, sorry about that. I didn't notice that your comment had gone into moderation (it's a time thing).