We’re living in a VUCA world — volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. It takes so much energy to adapt and keep pace in this world that it’s easy to forget to stay grounded in who we are. To have a sense of joy and lightness and a sense of purpose amid the uncertainty and the change.
I believe there are three practices that are key to this: 10,000 steps, 10,000 hours, and the 10,000 things.
10,000 steps. I spend hours most days sitting at my desk in front of my screen, my shoulders hunched, my eyes drying out, and all my muscles turning to jelly. You probably do too. Walking at least 10,000 steps every day (tracked by my handy Fitbit) keeps me feeling good. I also dance and practice yoga. Do whatever exercise feels right for your body, but do it. It makes such a difference to everything else.
10,000 hours. A study by Anders Ericsson found that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to be an expert in pretty much anything, an idea Malcolm Gladwell made popular in his book, Outliers. It’s a satisfying, joyous thing to put in the hours every day on something you’d like to master, to watch your skill building as the hours mount up, and ultimately to make a contribution with your expertise. For me, that's storytelling and speaking. What area would you like to excel in? Set yourself a program of deliberate practice and put time into it every day.
10,000 things. The ten thousand things is a Taoist and Buddhist expression meaning, basically, everything in the universe. I use it to remind myself to take notice of and appreciate the world around me. The people in my life. The things that are beautiful, or funny, or helpful, or interesting, or surprising. Make the time to shush your internal chatter, look around, be present, and appreciate. Every day needs a bit of awe.
I focus on putting these three things into every day. When I do that, it’s a day well spent.