"Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing that
makes you good."
- Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers).
"Shaolin Monk" (少林僧) contemplates the main theme of Malcolm Gladwell's written
work, Outliers. There is no such thing as talent; it is practice that
makes you an overachiever –
10,000 hours of practice, to be precise. This theory is best affirmed
by the shaolin monks, who spend a lifetime developing their inner and
outer strengths in a series of repetitive and painful routines spread
throughout the day. They appear to be bearers of almost superhuman
skills, but the secret lies within their consistency. This phenomenon
is expanded throughout all professions. Bill Gates, Michael Jackson
(R.I.P.), and Tiger Woods all practiced or exercised for around 10,000
hours before they achieved anything great. So how come, asks Gladwell,
since greatness is not a matter of talent but of time, there are not
more professionals out there? The magic lies within determination,
devotion, and deliberate practice. People adapt very quickly in the
beginning of life and work but along the learning process, progress
slows down, even stops. It takes those extra steps which are very
painful and difficult and therefore are taken by few. That's the way
it must be. If great performance were easy, it wouldn't be rare.
Liu Dao can look back at 5 years of experience, a period of time when
the members spent each and every day pouring their hearts' blood and
souls into the projects they believed in. This period has not yet come
to an end. The joint forces have clocked 10,000 hours and beyond – but
we know this alone will guarantee nothing. The benefits of synergy are
inevitable side effects of collaborative work.
The Liu Dao art collective has achieved many things. Together they
produced 200 artworks in the year 2010 alone. But the journey does not
stop here; there are always many hours ahead to sharpen abilities and
Practice makes perfect.
What would you spend 10,000 hours on? [Laura Breitenberger]