I have recently been reading “Stop Stealing Dreams” by Seth Godin and wanted to share a section of a significant chapter called “1000 hours.” This chapter really resonated with me, as I hope it will with you.
Over the last three years, Jeremy Gleick, a sophomore at UCLA, has devoted precisely an hour a day to learning something new and unassigned.
The rules are simple: it can’t be related to schoolwork, and reading a novel doesn’t count.
Since he’s started on this journey, he has read Steven Pinker and Stephen Hawking books, watched documentaries about ants and astrophysics, and taken courses in blacksmithing (in person) and card tricks (online). He has done this with rigor and merely had to sacrifice a little TV time to become smarter than most of his peers.
There are two things I take away from this:
a. This is a rare choice, which is quite disturbing. Someone actually choosing to become a polymath, signing himself up to get a little smarter on a new topic every single day.
b. The resources available for this endeavor have increased by several orders of magnitude. Available resources and instruction have gone from scarce to abundant in less than a decade, and the only barrier to learning for most young adults in the developed world is now merely the decision to learn.”
We underestimate the valuable power of the hour. We also tend to overlook the resources we have available at our fingertips. If you think back 50 years, try to imagine how much more difficult it was to learn about a subject you were curious or passionate about. The resources then were scarce, a friendly reminder that we should take full advantage of the resources we are blessed with today.
This weekend I needed to learn more about mission and vision statements. All I had to do was whip out Google on my iPhone, while casually sipping on a coffee at Starbucks. And in one hour – BAM – I am one hour more knowledgeable about mission and vision statements.
As the new week begins, I encourage you to embark on a similar journey. Even if it’s a half an hour a day, you are a half an hour more valuable than the person who didn’t take advantage of that half an hour. On a subject you truly care about. That’s magic!