Digging in

One of my managers back at Navigant Consulting would invite me to “dig in” with him when he really wanted to chat. It’s a good metaphor. As I’ve aged (now into my 33s) I’ve come to appreciate it more.

Anything worth doing takes time. It requires digging in. Whether it’s a relationship with your spouse, starting a company, learning a new skill, or raising a kid, you have to dig in to really do it well.

Personally, I think the life hacking stuff is a lot of bullshit. The journey is the destination. If you’re looking for shortcuts, why bother doing it?

The things that I’ve accomplished that I’m most proud of took a lot of time. In fact, I’m proud of them because they took a lot of time. If it were easy, I wouldn’t feel as good about accomplishing it. I dug in, and I got it done.

Digging in is also about being in the moment with yourself. It’s like the flow state that these same life hacker gurus also talk a lot about.

My point is this: flow is awesome; why short change yourself by short circuiting it with a less meaningful approach? Learning something faster isn’t really learning it. It’s the hot dog eating contest of self improvement. Its not really learning.

I can appreciate the Tim Ferriss philosophy. I even published on his blog. However, I disagree that doing anything for four hours a week (other than only watching that much TV) is something to be proud of. Enjoy the process. Dig in and take 40 hours learning how to cook, and relish every minute of it.

There’s a better life learning movement out there. It’s called 10,000 hours. That’s the commitment required to be a master at anything. 10,000 hours. Let me save you the math: that’s over a year of practice if you never slept, ate, or went to the bathroom. More realistically, 10,000 hours is five years worth of 40-hour workweeks.

Or 48 years in Tim Ferriss workweeks.

10,000 hours! Can you dig it?

The finished product

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