I read once about how the Japanese grow apples. They look at the small apples when they are just beginning to grow and then pull off the ones that look a little scraggly or misshapen. Because of this, the remaining fruit gets the energy that was going to go to them. Instead of having 50 good apples and 50 mediocre apples, they get 50 amazing apples. It is all about quality over quantity. I think it would be a good idea for us to apply that concept to all of our activities. In this, I’m specifically thinking about hobbies, or things we do for fun that we would like to get better at.
Rather than getting scattered trying to do too many things, select the ones that look the most promising. Pick those that look fruitful, if you will. What do you enjoy doing most? What do you think you would like to spend more time on and get better at? We have only so much time in our days and in our lives. It is wiser to pare down and do two things amazingly well than try to do 10 things and have them be mediocre.
Then what matters is time. I’ve read that the difference between an average artist and an amazing one is practice. The main difference is time – specifically 10,000 hours of time – spent honing your craft. It is the same for a seamstress or a surgeon. Want to get better at it? Do it a lot. Make a regular habit of it. Some natural aptitude is helpful, but the real difference is work. There is a Chinese saying that the best time to plant a tree was 100 years ago. The second best time is today.