Dedicated people are working their cotton socks off to try to sift out the fake news from the true as the election argy bargy unfolds.
‘Spurious makes us curious’ is a mantra of theirs.
How can we all stay curious?
How can we all develop a healthy collection of varied lenses with which to view the world?
Facts seem sort of check-able.
More worrisome are those more general ‘beliefs’ and ‘truths’ that we assimilate ever so gradually, bypassing the chance to hear that ‘spurious’ alarm bell. These truths become part of us, of our belief system.
And our businesses and workplaces are full of them.
Particularly hard to dislodge, for example, is the notion that it takes ‘10,000 hours’ of dedication, practice and focus to become incredibly successful in a chosen field.
This appeared in Malcolm Gladwell’s 2008 book ‘Outliers’, ran into some questioning a few years later, but still has a strong hold in any business conversation about talent – development, expertise and leadership.
I’ve never felt right about the ’10, 000 hours’ notion.
Most influencers and game changers in my experience have been fascinating polymaths rather than single-passion people.
So..delight! A new book written just for people like me is about to appear. ‘Micromastery: Learn Small, Learn Fast, and Find the Hidden Path to Happiness’ by Robert Twigger is to be published soon. While also extolling the joy of being a polymath, Mr Trigger looks at all those (eg Nobel Prize winners) whose brilliance was nurtured and expanded by a range of interests, by roaming over a wide range of skills and by multiple areas of knowledge.
And these areas can be tiny: perhaps learning to juggle, to paint a skirting board beautifully, to prepare the ideal poached egg…
Because the wide range of learned skills, the stimulus, all begin to cross reference, change our brains, and grow our curiosity and our confidence.
He suggests starting small, and starting specific. So forget the limiting notion of focus and of 10,000 hours. Think small. And perhaps think enjoyment.
I reckon you could do worse than start with mastering …a White Russian, for example, don’t you?