Have you heard the soundtrack to the hit broadway musical “Hamilton?” If you’ve seen the actual musical, just keep that to yourself — intentionally causing envy is tantamount to envy, itself. The broadway production aside, Alexander Hamilton was quite an amazing guy. He accomplished much, including establishing one of the first banks in America, the Bank of New York. It took Hamilton seven years to establish the bank’s charter. think about that for a moment. Seven years. That’s a long time to focus on something. Anything. We don’t often see that kind of long-term focus in our world today. Technology is partially (or mostly) to blame, as the speed to market is increasing seemingly daily. Our culture values microwave success — where we want, and get, everything right now. It is destroying our personal and collective ability to dedicate focus over time towards a goal, a success, or mastery of anything important.
Microwave Success: We want it now.
Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, talks about this idea and gives it a name: The 10,000-hour rule. He argues that to become world class at anything, it will take roughly 10,000 hours of practice. Even if that is not completely true, and becoming “world-class” at something doesn’t always take 10,000 hours, we can all agree it takes more time than the popcorn button on the microwave allows.
Microwave Success: We believe others achieved it “now.”
We look around — at other’s success, at their companies, their organizations, their staffs, whatever — and we believe it just “happened” for them. We only see their highlight reels, but never their practice sessions. We desire their success without their investment of time and effort.
When we only see highlight reels without practice sessions, we mistakenly believe other’s microwave success.