Tag Archives: Smith College

Day 27: expert shoes

27 Jan

A girl’s gotta love new shoes!
I received two beautiful gifts in the form of shoes for my birthday.

One was this adorable birthday card from Justin’s mother, and it couldn’t be more fitting for me. 

A girl and her shoes.
My love for shoes started right about the age of this little one on the card. We share the delight of the sole.

The other gift was this really fun pair of flip flops from my friend Laura. She hinted at sending me some flip flops a few weeks ago and aren’t they adorable!?

In fact, after I wrote about my shoe collection Laura emailed me wondering how I convinced my parents to buy me a 100 pairs of shoes. This was my response:

Dear Laura,
Here is some of what I think it was:

1)   I had big feet at an early age, they finished growing before the rest of me did. So, I started early.

2)  Where most kids wanted souvenirs on vacation, I wanted shoes. I was always looking for really new and different shoes in whatever city we visited.

3)  Once people know you like something they buy it for you. If you like golf you get lots of golf stuff, if you like shoes, you get shoes.

However, as I reflect on this note, I think there are 2 other factors:

1) Sports: you need a new pair of shoes for every sport you play, and I played a lot of sports!

2) 10,000 hour theory. I put in my time. I knew where to find the best shoe deals. I never paid full price. (or, at least my parents did not)

The theory behind being an expert.
It takes merely 10,000 hours of practice. I first learned about this theory by Anders Ericcson in my sports psychology classes at Smith College. Malcom Gladwell made it mainstream popular in his book, Outliers.

And, as we have all observed when an expert (you name it, comedian, athlete, business tycoon) reaches the top of their game they experience “flow” — and I know flow with shoes.

Now, I’m not buying shoes this year, but it makes me wonder…

10,000 hours is roughly 2 hours a day for 10 years.
What could I be an expert at in time for my 47th birthday?

Think about it.
You could be almost anything in 10 years.

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