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10, 000 hours to become an expert

 The so-called 10,000-hour rule is not to simply kill 10,000 hours, but to devote your whole body and mind to these hours, to sink deeply into them, and then you may catch a pearl or two.

From graduation to now, my friend Xiaoying zi has been working for more than two years. One year as an office clerk, another year as a cashier, and then she had a baby and stayed at home. Now the child is two or three years old and with her mother-in-law, she wants to do something.

More than three years have passed, she thought of a lot of ideas, but also tried several ways, such as: do direct sales of ×× products, selling insurance of ×× company, go to class for a period of time...... But the results are not very encouraging.

"What shall I do? Little Ying Zi was very worried, "I can't think of what to do."

"Do you remember that picture essay we used to make when we were kids? It is a picture of a man with a shovel who has been digging Wells, digging many holes, some deep and some shallow, the deepest one almost saw water, but he did not see water, frustrated, carrying the shovel to dig a new hole." I said,

"Er... Remember...... Do you mean I should dig deep into something?"

"Of course. I'll tell you a story, too."

When I first came to Beijing, I shared a room with a girl named Ai. Ai's company is in the same building with our company. Their company is the largest design website in China. Ai should be a front-line salesman at that time.

She is an atmosphere and a little confused girl, I remember, at that time, she did not have a deep understanding of her own work and often fell into confusion and confusion. Many nights, she would fill me in on what was happening at work and ask me to weigh in. So for a while, I worried about her job: if you need to ask an outsider's opinion in your line of work, your confidence in yourself and your knowledge of the industry are a bit on the line.

After living together for more than half a year, the rent is due and the agent wants to raise the price. Ed was in love and moved away. From then on, the two of us rarely saw each other, except occasionally for dinner. At dinner, the topic was mostly about relationships and very little about work. Almost a year later, I know she changed companies, whether she was promoted or not, I don't know.

It would be another year before we met again. She had to go to a mall somewhere, and I happened to meet the author nearby, so we made an appointment for dessert. When WE met, I noticed that she was wearing light makeup and dressed in a much more professional way than she had before. In conversation, she answers the assistant's phone from time to time, expertly directing the other person through specific steps and telling them what to do next. I learned that she was now a middle leader in the company.

Maybe because of fate, I changed a new job, the company is located next door to her current company. There were several lunch dates. She is now the head of a department in the company. Her boss is planning to start a new company and intends to transfer her directly to a senior position, although she is not in charge of the whole company.

To be honest, she's gone way beyond my expectations. When asked about the achievements in the past few years, Ai said, "It's nothing, but I have been doing in this line for a long time. With experience, I gradually understand a lot of things, and I have the ability to control the overall situation. As my ability goes up, my position and salary naturally follow up.

If you think about it, that's the truth. In his book Outliers, Anglo-Canadian author William Gladwell proposed the 10,000-hour Rule: "What makes a genius extraordinary is not that he or she is superior, but that he or she has put in continuous effort. With 10,000 hours of exercise, anyone can go from ordinary to extraordinary." That translates to five years of working eight hours a day, five days a week, to become a top expert in an industry. However, during the day, there is a significant amount of trivial work to be done, and the time that I can concentrate on my professional work is probably not more than four hours. In this case, the time that I really need is 10 years. Ai and I have known each other for five years, and she is right in the middle of the industry, proving this theory perfectly.

I was also surprised by another male colleague who had been a cover designer at my previous company. I had a set of three books that I needed to design covers for, and he was given the task. After three easy its draft, determined the final style idea, the general idea is determined very quickly, concise and elegant cover sample did come out, also passed very smoothly.

Then came the difficult details of the revision. The so-called difficulty is not in terms of how difficult this link is technically, but in his lack of attention to details and my great attention.

"Look, look, this line here, the spacing is not right, a little tighter!

"Isn't this a redder color? Can you try another color?

"This little label, let's change the position to look at the line, it's a little out of place here."

I admit to being a bit of a stickler for detail, and he calls me "turtle hair" : "Others are turtle hair, you are the turtle hair of turtle hair, which is the shell." But this fellow, too, had a hard tongue and a soft heart; and though he had been ineffectually resisting with words, he had at last changed everything as I wished.

Even so, when the book was in print, I looked at the spine and went back to him. "You see, it's a bit of a pity. The publisher's logo on the spine of three books is misaligned."

"Ah, all printed out to say this still have what use!"

By the time I left the company, he had stuck in my mind as "creative, playful but not too detail-oriented."

As a result, just over a year later, there was another opportunity to work with him. What I found was that this guy had a very big change, in the details. Within a year, he had turned into a man who was extremely shy of himself. All the design elements on the cover: font, size, spacing, color blocks, color values... He had taken it upon himself to make it as satisfying as possible, and he would be mad if he saw other designers not paying attention to it, even though it was none of his business.

Nevertheless short one year, a person's state of mind can produce so big change, also had qualitative improvement on level. What was once a creative half-finished product without details is now a creative, detailed finished product. Over time, with a complete creative concept, it is possible to upgrade a level, the commercial needs and art truly combined to become a first-class designer in the industry.

I remember attending a book fair in Beijing shortly after I started my career as an editor. After the book fair, the leaders held a meeting and let everyone who participated in the meeting talk about their own experiences and thoughts. Senior editors of the company talk about what new books they have seen on the market, what new trends several famous companies in the industry have in the bibliography, and what similar competitive books have been published by the company... I was out of my mind, not to mention the industry dynamics and competitive analysis, and I couldn't even remember the names of the companies they mentioned. When the leadership asked me, I was very ashamed, only in a hurry to say a few words of no pain, on the end of the speech.

More than four years have passed. I have not only been familiar with the company mentioned by the old editors in that meeting, but also have a certain understanding of its main product lines, style and packaging capacity. In terms of specific project operation, through the practical operation of nearly 100 books, I have a deeper understanding of packaging planning, copywriting positioning and text editing, and gradually consciously want to form my own style.

In this process, in addition to continuous practical operation, but also to join the continuous learning and thinking. I accepted the idea that I didn't accept at the beginning, which was gradually verified to be correct in my work. The original adhere to things, defeated by reality, must also change. Then there are those moments of inspiration that lead to lessons worth applying that you're so happy to tell everyone about.

The so-called 10,000-hour rule is not to simply kill 10,000 hours, but to devote your whole body and mind to these hours, to sink deeply into them, and then you may catch a pearl or two.


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