Open Future NZ "Be the change you want to see in the World"
Mahatma Gandhi
The Power of YOU by John S Veitch
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Each of us is our own spin doctor.  We talk to ourselves all the time.  We keep trying to rationalize what's happening in our lives with the "me" we imagine ourselves to be.  We all misrepresent the "truth" because we see ourselves in the light of what we intended, and give ourselves credits other people do not see.  We all indulge in wishful dreaming.  This can be a powerful use of the imagination to create the person you are becoming.  Or it might equally as easily keep you focused into a cul-de-sac where there is no opportunity for your knowledge to grow and develop.  

It's been observed that even in the USA, the influence of family and close community, is far more powerful than education and social policies.  It's said that "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree."  Even in the USA, social mobility is low.  In his interesting book "The Outliers", Malcolm Gladwell makes the point that exceptional personal development is possible, if people by some stroke of timing, and opportunity, and effort can invest 10,000 hours early in one's life, in some activity that later proves to have economic value.  The parents of new Americans often worked just as hard and for much longer hours, for little or no reward.  This effort often created training and opportunity for their children who went on to be very successful.  

The Development of Expertise

Outliers examines why do some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impactful lives, while so many more never reach their potential?  Gladwell challenges our cherished belief of the "self-made man," he makes the democratic assertion that superstars don't arise out of nowhere: "they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot."

There is a much longer video discussion here: Why do some succeed where others fail? What makes high-achievers different? (50 minutes)

24 November 2008 - Malcolm Gladwell, "Outliers" BBC Radio 4 Interview Audio Only

You can build your own knowledge and your own intelligence.  Practice leads to improvement.  How do you live your LIFE, so that you collect your own data, and empower your own learning process?  Where are you storing your own data?  What written records do you have of your own efforts and experiments; your own successes and failures?  Don't assume you will "remember", because you won't, nobody can.  If you didn't make a record, the experience is lost.  You BUILD an "Open Future©" by doing many small things consistently.  Keeping good records is one of those things.  

What you think about, the things that you talk to yourself about, and the things you discuss with others, changes who you are.  To create a more "Open Future©" for yourself, changing who you are, is the critical task.  Every choice you make, has potential to either open or close the future.  In this series of texts I'm pointing to several ways to give your life a direction that you have chosen.  Finding your own data, choosing who you associate with, continuous learning, recognizing limits and learning to be competent in new ways.  In your daily choices you make yourself stronger or weaker.  It's like training for a marathon.  You have to train a little every day for a long time.  Slowly the capacity of the body to keep running for more than 2 hours develops.  You can't get there by magical thinking.  Preparation for running a marathon takes work.  

You are the only real time source of your own ideas.  The question of the quality of those ideas arises.  What do you know that has any value?  In this age of transparency and digital data, everybody can access Google or the company intranet, and get "current information".  But what does all this "information" mean?  What you, and YOU ALONE, can bring to the table is your own experience, if you have bothered to collect "your own data".  That data is grounded in your own experience, in things you really understand, in the pain of your own failures.  Ten years later you have the understanding to know how good intentions went wrong.  When your understanding is backed by your own personal data, you have great confidence in what you know.  You can't get that by searching Google.

We live in a changing and evolving world.  Each of us has to learn to evolve and change too.  There are no guarantees of success for hard work.  What each of us can do, is accept the challenge to learn every day.  At some future time this accumulated knowledge should make us "ready" to see an opportunity, and skilled enough to take it.  Opportunity falls to those who have first prepared, to those who are already, ready.  

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