Practice 10,000 hours and counting

Ryan Lewis - Contributing - Columnist

It is said that to become an expert at anything, you would need to practice your craft for 10,000 hours. Maybe there is some truth to that, but how many people put off their dreams and their passions, all the things they would be willing to put 10,000 hours of practice into, for a life of comfort? Chances are, probably everybody.

I grew up in a generation of dreamers. That is not to say that those who came before us were not dreamers. Just that my generation finally decided that maybe their dreams were worth more than a little bit of money. This ideology has earned them backlash from many who think they are either lazy or stupid.

Those particular labels could not be further from the truth in most of these cases.

These dreamers spend the bulk of their lives pouring their time into something they love, into something that makes them happy regardless of monetary gain. For the most part, that is what we are encouraged to do all of our lives. “As long as it makes you happy,” is what parents and grandparents always tell you.

However it seems as if that is not how they always feel when it really comes down to it.

At some point, these dreamers have grown tired of the ways of the old and have decided to make their own way in this world. It’s not laziness, but often times sacrifice of a comfortable living in order to fulfill their lifelong dreams. It is a desire to live out one’s life on his or her own terms. It is the refusal to accept the status quo.

It should be inspiring to everybody. These dreamers are turning their backs on the easy route and carving their own paths to success. One of my favorite hip-hop songs, “Ten Thousand Hours” by Macklemore says it all. In the song he says, “I stand here in front of you today all because of an idea, I could be who I wanted if I could see my potential and I know that one day I’ma be him, put the gloves on, sparring with my ego” and “I will not be a statistic, just let me be. No Child Left Behind, that’s the American scheme, I make my living off my words and do what I love for work and got around 980 on my SATs.”

Macklemore speaks of his desire to be something more in his life than what is expected. “You only live once” is something said so often but it bears repeating. This life is magical and instead of chastising children and teenagers for trying to be what they truly want to be in life, we should support them wholeheartedly.

I know what I want out of life and lucky for me, age will never be an obstacle for my dream. I took this job because it allows me to do what I love — write. One day, I want to publish a fiction novel and I’ll continue pursuing my dream until my body gives out and I no longer have that ability.

Encourage your children. Let them live out their dreams and support them while they do it. The 9-to-5 life is not for everyone and if people can make a living doing what they love, isn’t that what this life should be about?

Ryan Lewis



Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.

Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.

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