Episode 006 of Music For Small Audiences is called Six Dishes Beats Four Decks. It’s a 90-minute mix of groovy tunes. The name comes from the acknowledgement that we are all good at different things, and from the understanding that anything we put our mind to and practice consistently, we will get at least passably good at. There are times – such as when I am hungry – that I wonder how much better I would eat if I put as much time in to learning to cook as I have in to learning to mix music together. Having seen someone juggle six dishes, I must say I am impressed. I have enough trouble BBQing a steak and pan-frying cheese at the same time.
In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell suggests that it takes on the order of 10,000 hours of proper effort in order to master a given area of expertise. Given how many hours each of us is allotted to spend here on earth in a single lifetime, I guess that means you can only get so good at so many things. Does that mean we should choose our hobbies carefully? Or merely that we are what we repeatedly do?