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Personal growth: The significance of limitations May 25, 2017

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Concept of personal growth.
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In our quest for maximum self-actualization, individuation, and personal development, there is a danger in our not recognizing our limitations; and in turn, not setting limitations on what we can realistically expect to accomplish.

It’s an especially difficult challenge for anyone with ambitious and eclectic interests.

The reality of time

We are limited by many factors, but the chief restraint is time.

When we look at the time available for self-improvement efforts after meeting just work and family responsibilities, for example, there are not many hours available to us.

Additionally, of course, the time available to us decreases as we get older.

Yet, this does not stop many of us from taking on an unreasonable load of self-development goals on our lifetime to-do lists.

The desire to be an expert

We are all largely familiar with the general axiom about acquiring basic expertise in any discipline: the 10,000 hour time-investment rule.

That does not sound like too much over a lifetime, but consider that 10,000 hours represents about 250 steady 40-hour weeks, or five years, devoted solely to the area we want even basic expertise in. Ten years or more, part-time.

So, there’s no defeatism in simply recognizing that we are not likely going to learn to play a musical instrument with even basic expertise. We simply don’t have that amount of time available.

But we don’t need to be experts

If we want to study and practice less than 10,000 hours, we can learn an instrument well enough that it adds to our appreciation of music and enriches our lives.

The same reasoning applies to the amount of work we are willing or able to commit to any area of our personal improvement efforts. We don’t need to gain expert status in any particular field in order to gain personal growth benefits from it.

— Dennis Mellersh