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The list of Un-mastered Arts

I've started writing everyday. Just a little here and there - typing notes into my phone on bus trips and scribbling into scrappy notebooks late at night. A little while ago I found myself up way past my bed time writing and marvelling at how at almost 25, I am still yet to master the art of putting myself to bed on time. It got me thinking about other arts I am yet to master. I made a 2am list. 

It reads:
The art of putting myself to bed on time
The art of wearing matching socks
The art of not apologising for things out of my control
The art of keeping plans
The art of ignoring my phone
The art of talking to cute barmen
The art of getting dressed in the dark (this would be so useful considering I always sleep in)
The art of saying goodbye
The art of sticking to a skincare routine
The art of taking my own advice
The art of making a cheesecake
The art of never running short of bus money

But there are more.
The art of coping with stress without chewing through my bottom lip or fingernails
The art of smalltalk
The art of aligning my actions and allocating time with my heart
The art of exercising consistently 
The art of taking a compliment
The art of not comparing myself to others
The art of keeping plants alive
The art of calling when I say I will
The art of backing myself creatively

I call these un-mastered arts because I think there is a part of me that would really like to master them  all eventually. Best-selling author Michael Gladwell once wrote that it would take 10,000 hours to achieve an activity to the level that would rival a professional. He called it the magic number of greatness - that mastering anything was a matter of putting in the time; practice would result in proficiency. 
Which made me wonder, if I could just practice harder at mastering these arts, these sometimes trivial arts, would that make me a master? Would I have gained genius status for being master of many things (admittedly rather ridiculous things)?

Studies conducted since, would indicate that this 10,000 hour myth has been de-bunked. I have to admit I felt a little relief when I read that. Spending 10,000 hours trying to master making cheesecake sounds like a delicious and dangerous pursuit. 
Turns out there is something to be said for natural ability and personal aptitude for a certain activity. Not everyone can truly master everything - but if you are intentional and intelligent about the things you choose to master, and indeed if you put in the time and effort to master them, you are more likely to do so. 
As Scott Barry Kaufman, assistant professor of psychology at New York University, put it: 
“Everyone can’t be a genius in everything, but I’m coming around to the idea that every single person has the potential for genius in something.” - Time Magazine May 2013
I like that. Potential for genius in something. Maybe a master of something.

So I've made my list a little smaller, no less ambitious and a little more intentional. 
For the next while, I am working on mastering the following arts first: 

The art of aligning my actions and allocating time with my heart
The art of not apologising for things out of my control
The art of not comparing myself to others

They seem like the most important ones, the ones I will be proudest to master. 
Suddenly 10,000 hours sounds like too little time... I'll keep you posted.
Bedtime and bus money might have to wait. X 

P.S I'd be SO curious to hear about your un-mastered arts, the real or ridiculous things you'd like to master! Let me know?
P.P.S This article in time is worth reading re: 10,000 hours and where I sourced the quote from.


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