Do you have Range?


There\’s a story wreaking havoc out here…And it\’s our story of success: deliberately practice for at least 10,000 hours with an obsessive, single-minded focus on winning at all costs. Create a master plan and adhere to it relentlessly. Oh, and if you didn\’t start at 7 years old, you are already too late.\"\"There are some people that share this story to expertise and recognition, but not everyone (i.e. most people). However, this is the story pushed onto everyone, so we push ourselves to specialize, stick to a plan, and feel bad if we don\’t fit the mold.David Epstein offers a different story to the anxious generalist in his book, Range. The book is densely packed  with stories from the worlds of sports, music, art, science and business, each to explain the importance of varied experiences for creativity and big accomplishments. You could get the idea of his argument pretty quickly, but I felt excited as I read every word. Epstein\’s celebration generalists affirms the potential within anyone to do great things, regardless of whether or not we have expert skill and a head start. Ultimately, treading your own windy path will make the difference.Here are some of my notes and quotes from the book:

\”Overspecialization can lead to collective tragedy even when every individual separately takes the most reasonable course of action\”\”In those domains, which involved human behavior and where patterns did not clearly repeat, repetition did not cause learning. Chess, golf, and firefighting are exceptions, not the rule\”Expertise, in order to be defined and understandable, must rely on direct, usable feedback\”When the rules are altered just slightly, it makes experts appear to have traded flexibility for narrow skill\”\”Everyone needs habits of mind that allow them to dance across disciplines\”\”There was no connection between me and music, until I started fiddling with it myself\” – Duke Ellington 

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