Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point is one of my favorite books from college. It introduced me to Malcolm Gladwell and made me really think about trends, ideas and social behaviors. I’ve always had an interest in the latter so his book was a great read for me. A year or so later, I discovered Demetria Lucas of A Belle in Brooklyn and she introduced me to Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours rule from his book Outliers. I’ll admit that I never had the chance to finish reading it but the theory always stood out to me. It simply states, It takes 10,000 hours of practice to be an expert. This applies to athletes, music composers, marketing professionals, singers, writers, etc. Basically, anything and everything. The concept has been challenged lately, but it is still very intriguing to me. Do I wholeheartedly believe it? No. Do I believe it has some validity? Yes.
I started grad school in June, chasing something I am extremely passionate about. I absolutely love school and the creativity I am allowed to have with my school work. However, Interior Design is a lot of hard work. I think people believe it’s just fluffing pillows, shopping for fabrics and choosing paint colors. I promise that it is not the latter AT ALL. It’s so much more than that. There’s a lot of complexity to it and the “fun stuff” usually doesn’t happen until the end. You have to understand codes, make sure your specifications are correct, make sure your materials meet performance requirements(especially in commercial projects), etc. The point is that it’s hard work and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Yes, that was a slight rant. I’ve been having to “check” people lately. Lol.
How do I strive to be an interior design “expert” and balance a life? If Gladwell is right, being an expert is a whole lot of work. If I am correct, I think this rule doesn’t include education. Meaning once you start practicing (internships, job, blog) your profession, the 10,000 hour countdown begins.
Which brings me to this past week. I was having a hard time balancing my life and so were a few of my classmates. We have been consistently working since the start of the semester and the work is none stop. We sit in studio all day everyday. Yes, this includes weekends as well. Sometimes we work all night and never go home. I rarely spend time with my boyfriend, I probably cook once a week and I haven’t had “fun” in awhile. I actually forced myself to attend the UM vs. Wakeforest game last week. I’m forcing myself to sit down and right this post now.
When I see women like June Ambrose, I ask myself how do they do it all. How do they balance amazing careers, family and life? Then, I noticed something. Gratitude.
It all came to me late one night while I was up working on my midterm project. I like to work with noise. Music, tv, etc. I decided to search for a movie on Hulu on my iPhone. That’s when I came across The Secret. I started watching and I was completely amazed. The Secret is all about the Law of Attraction. The movie is all about using The Law of Attraction to get the things you want in life. They also talk about how it doesn’t mean that you will get everything that you want. This is when they start talking about Gratitude Attitude. It’s self explanatory.
Have you ever noticed that a lot really successful people practice a lot of gratitude?
“You cannot receive anything new in your life if you are not already grateful for the things you have”.
I make this a practice every morning now. I wake up, sit in bed for a while and just think about all the things I am grateful for. Something so simple, has already made things better for me.
I know you are wondering how gratitude has helped me with balance. You are probably wondering how it relates to Gladwell’s 10,000 hours too. Well it doesn’t.
My gratitude attitude has actually made me forget about about balance and the 10,000 hour rule. It has allowed me to appreciate right now. It has allowed me to treasure the little bit of free time I do have. It has allowed me to stop thinking so much about the future. While the future is important, I noticed that us 20-somethings spend a lot of time dwelling on it. What we do right now impacts the future. So it’s important to live in the present and focus on doing your best with what you have right now.
Gratitude and positive thinking can do so much for us, if we really practice it. I’m not an expert but I am someone who is actively practicing and I have noticed a change already. Give it a try and see what it does for you!
I have never written a post like this. I hope it all makes sense and I hope it helps someone. I just felt that I should share it. The Secret is not new to me. It’s something that appeared again just recently and I decided to take it seriously.