Sunday, March 15, 2009

Reading "the dip"

It's great to be on spring break, we all needed the rest. I snapped this pic on our long walk through the park today, following the things Jack and Annie see in "Blizzard of the Blue Moon", one of the Magic Tree House books. We found Baldo, the angel fountain and Belvedere Castle, and on Tuesday we'll go to the Cloisters to see the unicorn tapestries.

This evening I read "the dip" by Seth Godin. His description of the dip reminded me of the 10,000 hours of practice it takes to become really great at something. Not that getting through the dip takes that long, but that most people will give up in the middle of the dip when they get to be just OK at something and are not prepared to pay the price to become great. Seth also talks about the need to quit sometimes: to quit the things that aren't working or the things that we are not passionate about. This is something that I have tried to do more of recently, although I have thought of it as 'focusing'. I feel encouraged to continue my efforts - I am so curious that I find it hard to be as single-minded as I need to be.

The book is very short and approachable and I read it in about an hour, but I'll be thinking about its implications for much, much longer.


  1. Caroline,
    i recently read this book too...such an interesting way of looking at things...I think about the '10,000 hours' thing a lot too...I thought it was also interesting that he said most folks quit at 5,000 and that that is 'normal' and sort of a good thing, giving balance in one's life....hmmm?

    lovely blog!

  2. Hi Kerin,

    I think the two books - The Dip and Talent is Overrated compliment each other. Seth Gobin talks about giving up things to become excellent and get through the dip, and as you point out, Geoff Colvin does say most of us give up at 5,000 hours - I'm thinking mainly because of the dip.

    I do agree with you that for our own balance there are plenty of things we need to give up at 5,000 hours (or earlier!) - I'm not sure it's possible to be excellent at more than one or two things and still have friends!