The 10,000 hours Adept and Me

Adept is a word that I’ve always enjoyed when I’ve read it and this is the first time ever that I’m using it myself. It’s a word that is used to describe someone who is proficient at what they do, or an expert, or who has reached the highest level possible, a real boffin or fundi.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book called “The Outliers” he gives examples of people or groups, such as Bill Gates and The Beatles, who became adept’s after having done something for 10,000 hours. His theory being that to become really good at something you need to practice for 10,000 hours or, once you have practiced or repeated something for 10,000 hours then you will be really good, or the best – like The Beatles with all the playing they did in Hamburg before they became famous, and Bill Gates with all the hours he spent programming as a student.

So I’ve been thinking, and I did a little calculation. Since 22h00 on the 3rd August 2002 I have been single or going home alone every night or without a partner or companion. In doing my calculation though I thought it would be only fair to exclude a period of all of 5 weeks when I was in a relationship with a lovely lady in London, Mercedes, and also a period of about 8 months when I was in a relationship with another lovely lady in Cape Town, Anita. Whilst I was still living alone during these times (not every night :-)) I did have a companion and partner, I was not alone.

My calculation reveals that I have been on my own for 82,319 hours as at 15h00 on Wednesday 23rd May 2012. Which means that more than 8 times over I am an expert, extremely proficient and most definitely an Adept.

At what?

I suppose the reader out there can come up with a whole host of answers to that question. I’ll bandy about just one…

I’m an Adept at being alone – hmmm, and why, pray, does one become or does one need to become an Adept at something that one hates?

Aaaah everything happens for a reason – splendid, please don’t stop, do continue…

I’ve attracted this aloneness into my life – did I, really? Okay, let’s move on then and I’ll just unattract it – here I go, I’m thinking positive thoughts, I’m smiling, I’m being friendly, I’m cheerful and looking on the bright side of life, and I’m happy and bouncey and… ummm, ooops, nothing’s happening, and another year goes by, of aloneness, but I’m getting even better at it clocking up all these extra hours.

We create everything that happens to us – now there’s a thing, a combination of masochism and what they call these days being bipolar (psycho was always good enough for me). So I’m a masochistic psycho who has focused my last 82,319 hours of my life on ensuring that I do something that I hate.

I could have a partner but I’m too fussy – righty ho then, why don’t I just accept anyone, anytime – there we go, now I’m in a relationship with another lady – sorry, pardon, what was that; attraction, connection, spark, love what are those things please?

Don’t worry there’s someone out there waiting for you, you could bump into her tomorrow. Right on, good on yer cobber, I’ll just hang around a bit longer and continue being patient – you try it!

The Universe will provide … well, since first writing this blog there have been some major changes, within me. It is now the 15th September 2013, I’ve gathered quite a few more hours, I’m even more of an adept 🙂 But, I am very comfortable with my situation in life. I no longer rebel or rage against it. I am single and I am on my own, and that’s just the way it is.

Here’s a few words that I’ve combined from my own thoughts and snippets from quotations by Neale Donald Walsh, Oriah Mountain Dreamer, and Jon Kabat-Zinn – hope they don’t mind that I’ve chopped up and combined their stuff:

“Contentment alone is enough.
There is nowhere to go.
There is no waiting for something to happen.
Open the fist clenched in wanting.
Need nothing.
Desire everything.
Choose what shows up.
Mindfully see the place and moment that you are in.
And allow the river to flow.
Flow it will.”

In my next book I shall be writing quite a bit about a few of these ideas and about “patience” and what it really means. In the meantime I shall just… enjoy the silence.

Jon O’Hanlon