Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Another 10,000 Hours?

Books cross my desk all the time.

I have four categories for them.
Some are ignored (not interested, don’t have time, not my genre).
Some are added to the bottom of the reading list (and they will gradually move up as I slog through the pile).
Some are filed "to read" connected to a particular project (“Storygrid”: To read when I edit my novel.)
Some are added to the top of the reading list because they seem relevant, timely, or even urgent.

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein was added to the top of my list this weekend.

A jack of all trades is a master of none” is a song I’ve sung to myself for years. I am Jack — and I know a little bit about a lot of things. I’ve also never had the gumption (Will-power? Desire?) to put myself into a hole because I've yet to find a hole that fits all that well. Round, sqaure, or otherwise. I'm not very good at calling myself one thing.

I’ve been a pastor, a missionary, a development worker, a fundraiser, a photographer, a videographer, a writer, a researcher, a filmmaker, a non-profit consultant, a leadership coach, and probably several other things in my life. Some have been paid gigs. Some are probably just hobbies. All are things I love doing and bring potential value to the world.

The premise of this book is that every single one of these paths and activities has been learning environments. Generalists are creative problem solvers and quick to learn, with the ability to connect disparate points.

I think (I’ll let you know when I’ve read the book) he’s saying that the generalist path (versus that of the specialist) is not as poor a path as once believed.

I hope this is true.

Because the whole 10,000-hours thing isn’t as inspiring or appealing as it was 20 years ago.