Streamline - Summer 2012 - (Page 50)

ThrowingMyLoop BY MICHAEL JOHNSON 10,000 HOURS! DID YOU EVER Maybe if we would spend time working – not complaining or whining, but working on our meager abilities, then we might surprise everybody… most of all, ourselves. know what we might call a “natural?” We all have. We’ve all seen the high school kid who could throw a baseball ninety miles an hour. I remember a left-handed sophomore who could throw the football 70 yards on a rope. Watching him throw that ball on a string, the only visual after-image left in my brain was my momma’s clothesline. And then there was that 14 year-old fiddle player in that beer joint, playing behind a wire cage he was. I never will forget him. He not only made all those redneck beer drinkers stand still and listen when he played; he made the angels weep. No training necessary, these were people who could do it from day one. I went to school with some of them – those who made straight As and never cracked a book. We’ve all known naturals, right? If only we had been born with their skill, their talent, their hand-eye coordination or their IQ, then life would have made a lot more sense. Things would have been a lot easier. whining, but working on our meager abilities, then we might surprise everybody…most of all, ourselves. Maybe that is the rule. How long would we have to work to see some results? What if we spent 10,000 hours working and developing what we have been given? Turns out that would be a good number. One of the most popular authors in America these days is a fellow named Malcom Gladwell. In addition to his previous works, “Tipping Point” and “Blink,” Gladwell has recently written “Outliers.” In that book, Gladwell writes about successful people and how they became so. His explanations for the causes of success – and high achievement – are not what you might expect. Including scads of research, stories about Bill Gates, rich attorneys and even the Beatles, Gladwell builds a strong case that the rules for achieving are varied and some luck is involved in everyone’s climb to doing better. And he points out, “No one does it alone.” There was one other ingredient for success that really caused me to sit up and take notice. The author writes about the research of the famous psychologist, Lewis Terman, at Stanford University beginning in the 1920s and continuing for decades. Gladwell writes, “In 1921, Terman decided to make the study of the gifted his life work. Terman would eventually sort through the records of some 250,000 elementary and high school students, and find 1,470 children whose Go to any coffee shop at 7 a.m. and ask the old guys, “Ever see a natural?” and in no time, that café will be filled with one story after another about the great saddle-bronc rider who never bucked off, the great roper who never missed or the great golfer who only played on Mondays. “He never had to practice. Just played on Mondays – and still he shot par. He could just do it. He was a natural.” We’ve all known naturals, right? What if I told you there’s no such thing? I know that is difficult to believe. Every old fellow sittin’ in the coffee shop somewhere in America reading this right now just said to himself, “This guy’s problem is he never met ‘Bubba.’ Bubba was a natural.” The belief that there are naturals is so ingrained we know they exist. But do they really? What if we found out about some new rule? A rule that existed since time began that we didn’t know about. What if – I’m just saying what if, mind you – the Lord gives us all some talent at the beginning? Yes, some have more and others less…but we all get at least some. What if the key is – the trick is – that we work on that God-given ability to do well from the beginning, and then we can do better than most? Could that possibly be true? And would whatever talents or gifts we have been given be enough? Maybe it would. Maybe that is the rule. Maybe if we would spend time working – not complaining or 50 S T R E A M L I N E • S u m m e r 2 0 1 2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Summer 2012

From the President
From the Executive Director
Summer Conservation Considerations
Emergency Communications
Asset Management
Southampton County: A Story of Progress
Board Members Quiz
Conference 2012 Highlights
The Town of Lebanon-One Small Step for Man
Drakes Branch Distribution System Upgrade
A Proper Rate-Virginia RATES Program
Missing Water Found
Wastewater Math
Throwing My Loop
eLearning Benefits
Membership Application
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefits Are?
VRWA Mailbag
Welcome New Members
Training Calendar
Board of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index to Advertisers/

Streamline - Summer 2012