Daily Meditation #141 — 7/13/2022
Cutting to the chase:
If you want to be exceptional, you must act exceptionally.
Everyone — including you, very likely — ascribe to the belief that exceptional people are “born with it.”
However, it isn’t Maybelline. People very typically aren’t “born with it.”
This societal attitude that people are born exceptional at anything is nothing more than a coping mechanism to write off how “exceptionally” ordinary most of us are.
Les Claypool’s slap bass playing.
We believe that they are “savants,” and while they may have exhibited some savant-esque behaviors, there truly are nearly 0 “true” savants.
These men — and arguably anyone so far out on a Bell Curve that you can’t see them — are highly competent because they’ve acted so exceptionally in their specific realm that they appear this way.
The rough idea of a 10,000 hour rule is loosely accurate.
How does this apply to us?
Well, in short: act exceptional to become exceptional.
“I want to be really good at Chinese.”
Then practice Chinese for hours every day.
“Well, I don’t have time to do it…”
Then come to terms with the fact you won’t ever become “really good” at Chinese.
This carries over to any other skills we desire mastery in.
Everyone says they want to be at the top of any specific skill hierarchy, but will have amazing stories (“excuses”) why they cannot attain it, namely a “lack of time.”
If it’s important, you will make time.
As I continually joke in these daily posts, people seem to have ample time to enjoy 2, 3, or 10 reruns of The Office every day, but always come up empty handed in time for things that will change and improve their lives.
Why do I write every day about Eudaimonia, Stoicism, death, life, and philosophy?
Because I am seeking to become exceptional within these realms — mastery.
What thing do you desire to be truly exceptional in? Why can’t you do it?
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These are distillations from my coming book “YouDaimonia: the Ancient Philosophy of Human Flourishing.”