starting young

it’s common scene in hong kong to see pregnant women signing up for courses even when their child hasn’t been born

courses for gifted youth, talented youth.all of those deceiving names that are telling you that they can make your child a genius

but i think the fact that there isn’t an entrance exam shows that anyone (even without talent) could join this course.

to me, the reason for competence is practice. the number of hours has a directly proportional relationship with the skill level attained.

malcolm gladwell suggested this theory “we become really good at doing something after we’ve done it for 10,000 hours”

that’s why we start young, to gain an edge over the others.

i think this is most evident in sports. the person who starts youngest is usually the best (assuming he is doing equivalent amount of practice every week)

using this theory, a 16 year old can also become an olympian if he trains 10 hours a day for 3 years or less because of the increased maturity and intelligence.

but the reason why these stories dont’ exist is because people usually give up halfway through the basics. the basics are so tedious and mundane that people don’t have the patience to continue on.

the advantage that a kid has is that he has no opinions, independence. he simply does what he is told. doing the same drills over and over again. children are easily coerced into doing things eg. serving a tennis ball for 1 whole hour

a grown man might serve 10 and ask if he can move on to someting else because he wants to learn how to play not only how to serve.

this makes a crucial difference in forming the fundamentals because the basics are game changing.

with this similar idea, parents esp in hong kong have thrown their kids into 500 million things to learn at the age of 3 eg. learning languages (with the tedious memorizing of verbs) sports, academic subjects in hope they will become better than EVERYONE else.

however, i wish to inform them that to some extent talent still applies. we will never be smarter than einstein, compose better music than mozart, or run faster than bolt.

it’s easy to confuse talent and hardwork because both display success. but the success is starkingly different when you examine it at a closer level (assuming the talented guy is hardworking as well)

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One thought on “starting young

  1. I agree wholeheartedly, not much to comment on I guess, haha

    while talent should be respected and treasured, it can also easily be thrown out of the window if not well managed, and so hard work in the end is what really pays off or makes up for what talent doesn’t give you

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