What Do You Regret?

July 18, 2011

I read a study about what people regret when they are faced with their own mortality. At the end of the string of their days they were asked what they wish they had done differently.

The most common regret?

That they had not taken more risks.  

What are we afraid of? Why don’t we reach for the brass ring, try something magnificent. So what if we fail? At the end of our days we may regret we failed,  but at least we won’t  regret we didn’t try, and wonder what the outcome might have been.


Categories: Sunday - Carte Blanche.


July 3, 2011

There’s a best selling book on the market. I haven’t read it, but I heard about the theory.

The title of the book is Outlier.  I’ll use Wikipedia’ definition,An outlying observation, or outlier, is one that appears to deviate markedly from other members of the sample in which it occurs. 

Outliers are individuals who have focused long enough on an activity to become expert at it. The authors of this book talk about the “10,000-Hour Rule”, claiming that the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours.

So, for example, assuming it takes 4 hours to play 18 holes of golf, you would have to play 2,500 individual rounds to become expert, or about 48 years if you played once a week. (Of course by that time, even if you were an ‘expert’, your age would start to add strokes to your game, and you probably wouldn’t be on the pro-circuit.) Anyone who is a golfer is going to jump all over my example.

The point of all this is, I am not an outlier in any aspect of my life, and in some areas, I am the antithesis of outlier. (I wonder if that’s an inlier?) At my age, to become expert at something, I better spend about 12 hours a day which could put me in the outlier range in a little over 2 years. I’m trying to become an outlier in the craft of writing novels, so I think I’m about half way to learning how to be an outlying novelist.  

Where would you focus your attention to become an outlier? Do you have an activity or an area where you would like to excel? 


Categories: Sunday - Carte Blanche.

A New Direction

June 26, 2011

I thought a long time about what this blog could/should be. Now that I’m so old and my kids don’t listen to me so much anymore, I thought about all the things I know, and wondered who I could tell. So I revamped this blog to cover a number of topics, and if anyone is interested in any of the subjects I’m going to write about, tune in on the flavor of the day that interests you.

 Sunday, because it’s such a neat day (don’t you love Sundays? they always seem crisp because they start a whole new week, and most of the time, you can do what you want on Sunday) is carte blanche. If anyone wants to guest blog on any topic on that day, let’s do it. Just send a comment that you would like to opine on a given subject, and I’ll take your words from an e-mail and paste them up here for the world to see. (Granted, it’s a small world, but, it’ll get bigger.)

Otherwise, if no one wants to guest blog, I’m just going to do an Andy Rooney thing.

I have five computers, three desk tops and two lap tops. I also have an extremely smart phone, but I’m not counting it in this abundance of electronic power. Of course I don’t use all these computers, but they sit all around my writing room, waiting for me to boot them up, like the bench of players at a basketball game. They’re just waiting to be called in to score.

I could take some of these loyal players to one of those recycle places, but what secrets of mine are left inside those boxes? Are there some of my old manuscripts (I keep those too) hidden in the depth of those mysterious drives, even though I think I erased them? Are they really gone? What about indiscretions of one kind or another? Can you remember everything you told your computer? I can’t.  Maybe I’ll hold on to all of them a little longer.

Tomorrow is book day. What are you reading?


Categories: Sunday - Carte Blanche.