Déjà Vu, I come here to write about 10,000 Hours to Become a Genius, and realised I’d already used exactly the same title when writing about exactly the same subject last November.
So let’s call this Part II. I’ve realised recently that for 42 years I’ve been struggling. Struggling to fit into an education and white collar working system that has a very narrow confine on what is intelligence. And I’ve fitted in, I’ve had to, but at great cost to myself and talents.
At aged 6, I was highly mathematical, spatial, chess, sporty, but I couldn’t handwrite properly, struggled to spell, couldn’t draw well, struggled with English comprehension. I was a classic geek, shy of girls (but loved them really), crap dancer.
My 10,000 hours of genius, didn’t go into a single subject but across a number of subjects. Sport, Man United, Chess, Maths, Sport, Current Affairs, TV, General Knowledge, Newspapers, Encyclopaedias, Science.
That inability to write and draw, and remember language, has been a blight on me ever since. I’ve been blessed with enough intelligence to survive it, but I shouldn’t have to survive life.
So now my oldest child has just come through being 6, and my youngest is fast approaching 6, I’m really attuned to what’s expected of them in education, and what they can and can’t do. But here’s my own breakthrough and realisation. Genius may not be nature. It might be nurture. We find our talents out early on for ourselves, or someone helps us.
I say this because, I’m noticing some things my kids aren’t learning for themselves. That doesn’t mean they can’t do something, just that they don’t know how to. Jay’s reading is great now he’s started school, and I should know, I taught him (proud Dad), but his handwriting and drawing are behind many of the kids in his class. Mmm funny, but that’s me at school all over again.
Now, for the last few years, I’ve been looking for a cartooning book to help me learn to draw for when I’m training and writing on boards and flipcharts. I made a concerted effort to find a book this week, for my sake and now for Jay’s. And hallelujah, I’ve found it. 1001 Awesome Things To Draw. A fantastic book. Suddenly I’m a genius cartoonist (and so is Jay) just by following the rules. Neither of us can naturally draw, but who can. The untold secret is that many children and adults, learn to draw using the rules, without telling the rest of us, what the rules are.
It’s the same with Improv. You may look at Who’s Line is it Anyway and Thank God You’re Here, and watch in wonderment at how those performers and comedians take on random situations and be so funny. It’s rules based. There are basic Improv rules, which if you follow with a few hours of practice, I’ll guarantee most people can get up there and perform very well.
And I’ve just bought a book on design and layout, How to Understand and Use Design and Layout. It’s rules based again, along with some artistic genius! It’s taken me years to find a good book on Design and a good book on Cartooning, and now I can be an Artistic genius like the rest of you. Now I just need to find those 10,000 hours!