Monthly Archives: February 2013

In Search of 10,000 Hours



In Search of 10,000 Hours

            Outliers’ author publicized the occurrence of the 10,000 Hours of Practice Rule that leads to extraordinary success.  His examples include young performers such as musicians and athletes.


olympicideals2         Each performer logged at least 10,000 hours in the pursuit of their skill prior to achieving success.

         This Rule has been presented as evidence that hours of repetition and practice are necessary to succeed.  It also implies that those who do not ‘stick to one thing’ will fail.

I am in the later group.  I am curious and enjoy the thrill of exploring.  My resume is filled with variety and diversity.  I have completed multiple degrees and certifications though never at the top of the class.

Am I a failure?  Have I been “…chasing my tail.” as accused by some?

     In the process of evaluating my life accomplishments, I revisited the success Rule and wondered how long it would take to perform 10,000 hours.  In order to grasp the concept of 10,000 hours, I needed to translate hours into everyday terms as a visual representation.

I chose the calendar because there are 24 hours in a day and the day forms an easily recognizable measurement.


10,000 hours converts into 417 calendar days

Who practices 24 hrs a day?

          The Midwife in me immediately thought of infants and how they start breathing after birth.  It is a new skill being practiced.  After 417 days the infant is an expert at integrating air into its lungs and over its vocal chords.

“But,” you may protest, “All infant breathe.  This is not an exceptional accomplishment.”

And I would disagree with you.

True all viable infants do 10,000 hours of breathing by 417 days.  Maybe this is an unrecognized mastery of becoming human.

Are there other human achievements that are ignored because they are expected?

     I decided to expand my inquiry to discover if the Rule could be retro-activated to detect an individual’s ‘extraordinary successes’, especially those not previously acknowledged.

My search criteria needed to be widened to capture a range of activities and ages.  After all, the previously identified performers did not practice 24 hrs a day and they were all less than 30 years old.

I modified the Rule to a 10 years span so that 1,000 hours per year were required to satisfy the Rule.

Ten thousand hours over a 10 years span = 1,000 hrs/year

OR approximately 3 hrs/day for 10 years.

         Using my own life experiences, I began searching for activities that fit the Modified Rule and would qualified as ‘extraordinary successes’.   I was delighted with the initial results.


My Extraordinary Successes

Parenthood, Spouse, Friend, Student, Midwife, Lover, Wage Earner

In addition, I can expand on any or all of my passions in the next 10 years to add to my repertoire of success.  Writing is the top of my list.

My age, 60+ years, allows more opportunities for achieving expert status than as a 20 year old.  It’s OK to take your time and savor life according to your own heartbeat.

What are your unrecognized expert accomplishments?

         Identify a 10 years period in your life where you have performed a specific activity for at least 3 hours daily.  If you have the advantage of mature age, you can modify your timeline as well.

Remember to CELEBRATE your successes.

birthday party



I do belief the pic is of a Dengue carrier mosquito.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo


I have never made a secret of the fact I have an intense dislike for mosquitoes. Mainly, I have to admit, because they seem to like me. I react badly to having uninvited guests for dinner when I am the only thing on their menu. My ears may have lost the capacity to hear bats in the darkness, but even with them stuffed full of duvet I can still hear the incessant whine of a mosquito on the hunt for supper. There is an absolute and focussed awareness about these moments it is impossible to sleep through.

Of course, I have asked myself none too politely, what purpose the little buggers can possibly serve, feeling (usually as I itch and swell) that they must have been placed on this world for the sole purpose of being annoying. Yet I know full well they are more than that. They are themselves…

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Sue Vincent's Daily Echo


I looked at the pile of work on the table and thought, sod it, it could wait till tomorrow. But then, really, can it? Reading the Yeats poem today it occurred to me that I am twelve years older than my father when he died. I am closer to my grandmother’s final age now than I am to his 42 years. My late partner was the same age as I am today when he passed on.

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down…

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The interaction of humans with their environment creates an inspirational muse that can mirror cycles of life – birth, death and rebirth.

 I found one of these creations near my neighborhood at the Pueblo Montaño

Trail Head Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico west of the Rio Grande River.

Montano bridge

Here the ancient river flow of the Rio Grande whispers the ingredients (time and change) for creation.

The land next to the river is a woody place called The Bosque.


 In 2003 a human ignited fire caused the cottonwood trees to smoke and burn.


fire blaze

Bosque fire fighter


What remained was a charred, dark reminder of a tragic interface between

man and nature.


 Open Space, a community mandate “to preserve the unique natural features of the metropolitan area” changed this tragedy into a unique, artistic expression of human love for the Bosque.

Signs were placed for humans to encourage the Nature Spirits to return.

recovery sign

 Local artist and firefighter Joseph Mark Chavez carved representative pieces from the cottonwood tree stumps left intact.

eagle cottonwood


Mother Nature in Tree

Tree woman


road runner sculpture


crane cottonwood

Firefighter with Dragon

Firefighter protector



Birds in tree woman

Coyotes guarding Bosque with their voices.

coyote scultures

Coyotes howl

Rebirthed Cottonwoods

Rebirth Cottonwood

Rebirth 2

Rebirth after fire

Thank you for giving your attention to the human-nature connection.

Addressing our ‘Cultural Consensus Trance’



This morning I received a link to Dmitroy Orlov ‘s blog [] announcing his new book – The Five Stages of Collapse.  

The book is based on a previous presentation in 2008

Please do not be dismayed by the word ‘collapse’.  This is not a doom & gloom prediction of the world ending.  It is about the world changing and possible solutions to surviving the changes.

You may recognize some of the suggested changes and solutions.  I did.

My move to Costa Rica was a way to experience a cultural change that was compatible with my new fixed income.   Once experienced, I was able to transfer my awareness to living a different life style in the USA.  My new perspective now includes an expanded appreciation for the local community.

A change in cultural beliefs is an evloving process.  It requires recognition of ‘cultural consenses’ and awakening from those that no longer serve us.


Pura Vida


Sue Vincent's Daily Echo



“Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?” ~Benjamin Franklin

I have a very dear friend who has made it his mission to make me blush. This is a gallant stance for him to take as it is not something I do very much as a rule. Few things have the power to throw me anymore and I take most of life’s little quirks in my stride. My friend, however, succeeds almost daily.

How does he succeed when almost all else fails? I hear you ask. Very simply. He writes me the most beautiful emails and shares lovely things that touch my heart with their insight and honesty, and then pays me compliments. They make me blush. I’m not used to it.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have had my fair share, and have learned, over the years, to accept gratefully…

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Water in Religion

Religion can influence climate change, encourage conservation and eliminate pollution. I’m not proposing that religious leaders voice opinions in matters of science and politics, there is too much of that already. Spiritual guidance, social behavior and salvation of souls are the rightful realm of religion. Religion has the role and responsibility to create positive effective change in society. New creative strategies are needed to bring awareness to an approaching world wide water crisis. To teach a reverence for water can be a strategy to bring about awareness and change.

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