How To Be the Best At Anything You Want to Do


I’m writing this while sitting in a hotel room. To my left is the Pacific Ocean and all the magical San Francisco fog stuff people kept whispering to me about. About 12 floors downstairs Claudia is doing yoga in the gym.

About four feet directly behind me is a woman that is a complete stranger to me who is having an unbelievably long orgasm. There’s a wall between us. Hold on a second while I take a glass and listen against the wall.

(sunset on the Pacific)


Now I hear nothing. Now I hear a toilet flush. Maybe they are finished. What I really want to do is eavesdrop on their conversation now. Do they rate themselves. I’m kind of assuming they just met. Its about 5:30am. So maybe they met last night, had sex, and now they just finished having morning sex.

So maybe now they are rating their performance or telling their life stories. Hold on a second while I check.

I had my ear on the wall for five minutes just now. I didn’t hear anything. Maybe they are asleep or maybe they immediately got up and went to breakfast. Mmm, bacon, pancakes, coffee, mimosas, croissants. Must…satisfy…all..cravings…by 7am.

What do they look like? Are they midgets? Three feet tall? You have to admit that would be a little funny. Don’t deny it. Even midgets would laugh at me saying this. Or elves. Whatever.

Maybe it’s someone famous. Maybe it was Lindsay Lohan. Hold on while I check my itunes library to see if anyone within the purvey of my hotel wifi is sharing all Lindsay Lohan’s masterpieces. Nevertheless, if there was no wall there then this whole thing would probably have been pretty awkward. I probably would not have been able to keep staring at the computer screen, for instance.

(I heard that Lindsay Lohan sometimes stays at this hotel. Could it be?)

If someone had the glass to the wall when I was 18 and first attempting whatever it was they were doing in the other room all they would’ve heard was me saying, “I’m sorry. I don’t really know what I’m doing.” And then, “I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s going on. Give me another chance.” But even then, I doubt they could’ve heard that over the ridiculously loud Pink Floyd music.

Sex is like driving. In polls, nine out of ten people think they are “above average”. Let’s say for a second that “average equals median” (I don’t want to get into basic math arguments in the comments). Clearly, then, it’s impossible for nine out ten people to be above average.

It’s also like sales or negotiating or poker or being “a good judge of people”. Nine out of ten think they are above average.

Most people have over-inflated views of their performance in a variety of areas.

Let’s go back to Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers” for a second. To guarantee being among the best in the world at something you pretty much need 10,000 hours of practice as per his “10,000 hour rule”. He cites the Beatles as an example. They were basically average, then they put in their 10,000 hours by playing 24 hours a day for a few years in German strip clubs and then they became the best band in history. You can argue Bobby Fischer was a fairly average chessplayer until he put in his 10,000 hours. Then he was the best in history. My friend Ylon made nothing in poker for ten years then suddenly made $3 million and was among the best in the world. He put in his 10,000 hours. (See, “My Year Where I Did Nothing But Play Poker”)

(Fischer was, at best, above average as a young kid)

You don’t have to be the best in history to be above average. But most things that are worth doing (being an entrepreneur, amassing a good amount of money as a result) have a very steep learning curve and then it flattens out. So maybe 1000 hours gets you better than most people (above average) and then the next 2000-5000 hours gets you the be the best in your circle of colleagues (i.e. good enough to make a great living at it) and then from 5000-10,000 hours is the subtle refinements that are needed to be the best in the world.

They require 5000 hours precisely because they are unobvious and subtle.

But that’s ok. Who cares about the other 5000 hours. It’s the first 2000-5000 hours that are the most important. We need to feed our families and then be able to enjoy life. Not everyone needs to be the Beatles (who, its unclear if they were ever truly happy) or Steve Jobs (who was screaming on the phone at Eric Schmidt months before his death about how much he was going to sue Google for stealing the Android operating system). (See also, “10 Unusual Things I Didn’t Know About Steve Jobs”)

Based on my own experience being an entrepreneur and talking to 100s of other entrepreneurs, 2000-5000 hours experience is what’s needed to be a successful entrepreneur. Successful enough to build a product people want, get revenues, sell the business.

It’s nice to have the 2000-5000 hours in your passion or field of interest and then spend the next 10,000 hours focusing on how to be happy and healthy. This is my recommendation at least.

(So young. So much promise)

What do you do during those 5000 hours. How do you get better at something? If you are doing any of the below then you have my permission to clock in on the 5000 hours, but I think the below have to be done with balance. You can’t do one without the others:

  • Experience. The Beatles would never have gotten good if they just read books about music. Tiger Woods started swinging the club (i’m being literal) when he was three, etc. If you want to be an entrepreneur, starting come up with ideas now, ideas that are doable with limited resources, start doing them, start selling them to customers, investors, acquirers. Just start.
  • Self-analysis. Thinking about what you are doing and coming to logical conclusions about how to be better. For instance, in poker, reviewing the hands you played that day and thinking of ways you could’ve played them differently.
  • Tutor/Mentor. Every great chessplayer has had a teacher. I don’t really think there are any exceptions to this. That probably goes for most games, sports, or anything that’s difficult to get good at (racecar driving, etc). Most entrepreneurs I know have had mentors. For myself, I worked at a big corporation before I was an entrepreneur. The corporation: HBO / TIme Warner, is one of the best-run mega-corporations out there. The corporation itself was my business mentor (“corporations are people, my friend” – Mitt Romney). I’ve also spent a lot of time with one of the best unsung businessmen in history.
  • History. The Beatles clearly studied the music of Elvis. They probably also studied jazz from the 20s. My guess is they also studied the art of the fugue from Bach. Bobby Fischer once disappeared for a year (as a 13 year old) and studied every game played in the 1800s. When he resurfaced he had subtle improvements on obscure chess openings (the Latvian Gambit, for instance) that were last seen at high-level play in the 1800s. A great example of his knowledge of the history of chess is how he secured a draw in the last game of the Fischer-Spassky match when he transposed a complicated very modern Sicilian Defense into an old, drawish Scotch Gambit to secure the draw and win the match.
  • Talking. Associating with not just tutors but other serious students of the field you are interested in is a good way to exchange ideas, synthesize the ideas you have about the field you are in with the ideas you have, mate them, and come up with new ideas that neither of you would’ve thought on your own. The collaboration between Lennon and McCartney being a great example of this. The collaboration between Brin and Page being a modern entrepreneurial version of this. (See, “Why is Larry Page different than me and why didn’t Google buy my company?”)

    (Human being #1)

  • Failure. Learning from your accidents (“I will no longer drive through a Stop sign”) catapults you through the learning curve very quickly. My kids often give up instantly when they lose at something. That’s ok. They just aren’t interested. But once you find something where you pick yourself up and you say, “I HAVE TO DO BETTER” next time. THEN you know you are onto something – a passion, a dream, the field where you can become a grandmaster, the field where you can become an entrepreneur. It’s a secret you learn about yourself and you can be privately proud that at last you have found the area where very few people will be able to compete. 99% of people give up after a failure in a field. It’s the best filter that will tell you you will eventually succeed. Then, once you fail and want to learn from it – go to #2 above – Self-Analysis, and begin anew.
  • Explore. How do you get to be a great computer scientist? Study biology. How do you get to be a great investor? Study music. Ideas mate with each other and then evolution will get rid of the deformed offspring and keep the offspring that quickly adapt to the new generation of trials. The only way to have those offspring in your hands is to fully explore brand new fields and make the connections, correlations, causations between the field of your interest and the new field you are studying. I would like to get good at meditation, for instance. What I have found recently is that studying quantum mechanics provides unbelievable insights that I would not have dreamed of. Or being a good daily blogger – I found that studying the insights of Charlie Brown has been immensely helpful.
  • Balance – In the post, the Nine Ways to Guarantee Success,  I list nine things that could get in the way of success for entrepreneurs but it really applies to any endeavor. Avoiding the nine obstacles of: sickness, doubt, vacillating, etc

Then the question is: why do I need to be great at anything. Can’t I just get by? Sure, but then you probably won’t have as much fun in life as the woman with the forty five minute orgasm who is presumably sleeping blissfully just four feet from me.

Please follow me on twitter.

[Update: I left my room to go to breakfast right as they were leaving their room. He looked like he was a professional basketball player. She was fully dressed and he was just wearing t-shirt pants. On the elevator she asked him what he was going to do for the rest of the day and he just said, “I donna” and then at the door of the hotel he waved goodbye to her.]

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  • Daniel Speer

    I mean technically, the woman orgasming may not have been great at anything. Except orgasming. She had fun by being around someone great…

    …however, for the guy/girl/animal giving her those orgasms, there is no better feeling than being the one to make someone else feel great about anything by simply being in your presence – and this goes beyond just sex.

    Great post as usual, James. You definitely put in your 10,000 hours of writing… or thinking.. or listening to walls. Whatever.

    • Fubar

      Did she learn it in college? Did she get a degrees in it?

  • kara rane

    to be the best at anything You need Love.

    • Fubar

      Correct. Human beings evolved in tightly socially bonded tribes for survival (this is where the brain chemistry for “love” and “compassion” come from ), and most cultural evolution is largely based on the excellent “big brained” human ability to imitate others, including a great deal of subconscious imitation.

    • Fubar

      Saw the AWESOME paintings on your web site. Fantastic stuff !!! You rock. dude.

  • Anonymous

    That incredible long orgasm was probably bought and paid for ; )

    • Fubar

      Speaking of buying and selling stuff…..

       re: “Steve Jobs (who was screaming on the phone at Eric Schmidt months before
      his death about how much he was going to sue Google for stealing the
      Android operating system…”

      James or anyone: if possible, please provide more information how why SJ thought that Google stole Android (Linux) from Apple (Berkeley Unix)!  Or links to reference material.

      I have a vague memory of SJ being mad that Bill Gates stole “Windows” from Apple, but that Apple had “stolen” the idea of a GUI OS from Xerox PARC.

      • jaltucher

        Since Schmidt was on the Apple board when they were designing the iphone there were several features that Jobs thought Schmidt stole, in particular features about the touch screen, app store, etc.

    • Doc Hawkins

      It probably was so good the whole floor had a cigarette

  • Parvaze

    Count me as a new addict to your writing! I just found this blog a couple of days ago and have spent hours reading your posts. You have a way of reaching into my mind and dragging me where you you want me to go. 

  • Kamal Ravikant

    Fantastic post, James, much wisdom.  Love the leap in the update, like a hiaku. 

  • Brooke Farmer

    James, for a long time I have believed that what sets a writer apart from other people is our propensity for telling ourselves stories. I drive past a terrible wreck on the freeway and start imagining what led up to it.

    A woman in the small sedan has been cheating on her husband. She knows it has to end. She’s told the other man in the equation that she is finished with the betrayal. But, as she pulls onto the highway with her two children in the back seat, her phone buzzes in her lap. She glances to see who the message is from. It’s from him. Briefly, momentarily, she closes her eyes so that she can recall the face she has said goodbye to.

    At that moment an eighteen wheeler pulls into her lane….

    I feel you are doing a small version of this when you predict that the woman in the next room has just met the man who brings her to orgasm. It’s a way of thinking that not everyone engages in. It’s why you write.

  • Anonymous

    very interesting writing James and I agree with you. it’s sad that they don’t teach this kind of things at college but society, the structured systems makes it seem as if going to college is the only way to be successful, when it’s not. There are many ways to get education and experience, but going to college now days is synonym of “debt”

  • Rik2344

    what a crap post. no originality…just borrowed ideas. 

  • Preemptive Placebo

    Today more than ever in human history we spend our time doing things we
    are obligated to do.  What we must do.  What we should be doing.  What we believe we cannot avoid doing. 

    The simplest way to become good at what we are doing is to do what we want to do.  

    Said in another way, those who pursue the things that naturally interests them will do those things well.  They will enter that mythical flow-state where they are fully immersed, focused and unintentionally engaged. 

    That is when we do not even realize we are totaling up those 10,000 hours.  It takes no effort at all.  Shoulds, musts, have-tos and obligations disappear. 

    So, step #1 to becoming exceptional at what we are doing is to take charge of ones own life and find ways to do the precise thing we want to do. 

    Right now, for me, that is posting this comment.

  • TheAcsMan

    The 10,000 hour concept got a good workout today. Hopefully no one is on the line to Gladwell for royalties or usage fees. I’m certainly not paying unless he accepts French Fries

    I just recently bought my Groupon 50% off coupon and will be able to get it done for just 5,000 hours, so I’m especially intrigued that I may be able to actually then pull off the important part in just 2500 hours.

    Now I just have to figure out what I want to do in life, especially since I’ve already used up about 12 hours.

    However, instead of working really hard for whatever the prize is, I’m a big believer in statistics, even though James just glossed over that topic in todays post.

    With 7 billion people in the world, the chances of some 1 in a million thing happening to me is pretty good. About 7,000 of those happen each day. Assuming 50% of those are really good and the other really bad, still 3,500 each day.

    Even with a standard 250 day work schedule that’s almost 900,000 opportunities for something really great to happen each year, as long as the other 50% doesn’t get you first.

    • research papers

      thanks for information!

      • TheAcsMan

        That was about a week ago. Population increase since then keeps improving chance that I may win something that is otherwise entirely predicted on the basis of statistics

  • Priscilla Wood

    How to orgasm for 45 minutes 101, yeah, they don’t teach that in college but good business idea.

  • Sschaloc

    Ummm, James.

    The sun sets, not rises, over the Pacific.

    It’s OK. They made the same mistake in that John Wayne movie about VietNam. 

    If it’s OK for John Wayne, you are in good company. ;-)

    • Elperg

      In Vietnam the sun would rise over the Pacific. 

  • Alex

    Great post as always but I either go crazy or I can see the future. I saw this post a few days ago or in archives ?

  • Mehranalmasi

    Your ideas may not all be original, but if you keep this up sooner or later you will be more qualified to write what will be more popular and usable than Torah, Bible or Quran, put together.
    I don’t believe there is any activity that most of us can do for whatever number of hours that gets us  your mind’s power!

  • murray hobbs


    read your post

    5 minutes down, 9,999 hours and 55 minutes to go



    • James Altucher

      Or 3000 hours to go. I don’t recommend doing the full 10,000 hours.

  • Peak Oil Poet

    I think that 10,000 (or even 5K) is a tall ask for someone unless they have somewhere to put it (ie brain space? aptitude?)

    i’m sure i put in the 10,000 hours in the days i played music – maybe more – and did all the other things you mention. In the end i came to realise that no matter how many hours i put in i was never going to progress beyond what i achieved by maybe the 200th hour.

    Maybe the 10,000 hours has to be put in by a certain age?

    As for the girl in the room. I heard from some girls… the orgasm was faked – the girls do that to try and impress on the basketball player that it was the best sex they ever had – to outdo any of the many competition – except all it does is lead the basketball player to think that he likewise satisfies all women equally and consequently will commit to none of them. As most of them are using contraceptives even the biological value has been wasted.

    or so i heard :-)


    • James Altucher

      Hmm, interesting theory! (about the woman). I don’t believe the 10,000 hours has to be put in by a certain age. Look at joseph conrad, for instance, when he started writing.

  • Siddhartha Herdegen

    Nice post. I like the concept of the 10,000 hour rule but clearly there are some areas in which there is more going on than practice. A lot of secretaries in the fifties typed much more than 10,000 hours without getting noticeably faster. There seems to be a threshold to our capacity to improve. In many areas we improve a lot until we become average and then we stop progressing.

    • James Altucher

      That’s an interesting thought. I used to think about it in terms of games. For example , in chess or tennis there are a lot of levels of skill where if you are ranked at X+1 then you are significantly better than someone at level X. But in tic-tac-toe there are only two or three levels of skill. So maybe the 10,000 hour rule applies to things where there are 20+ levels of skill. (in chess, for instance, there are probably 20 standard deviations between the weakest player and the strongest player).

  • Dennis Gorelik

    it’s impossible for nine out ten people to be above average.

    It’s quite possible for nine out of ten people to be above average … if all these people are measured against different scale.
    People use different scale when they rate skills in different areas, don’t they?

    • James Altucher

      Let’s assume there was one scale.

      • Anthony

        The number of people who have passed their driving test who are above average drivers will be higher than those below, as those below will have a grater number of fatalities and not available to survey. (Spliting hairs)

        More importantly, what did she look like? Details Altucher, that’s where the devil resides.

        • James Altucher

          She was young, African American, skimpily dressed, very pretty smile, long hair, carrying a pair of shoes and wearing another. He was about 6’9″, very muscular, white, brown hair, but looking down so I couldn’t see his face very well.

          • Anthony

            Cheers mate.

            What type of woman has a spare set of shoes on them? On a similar note it has always been a rule of mine not to date a woman who cannot carry all her crap in one bag.


          • TheAcsMan

            Every woman has several pair of extra shoes on them at all times. You just have to know where to look.

            Being able to carry all of your things in one bag is a metric that’s fraught with problems. That’s so for the very same reason why you should always evaluate the physical appearance of a potential date’s mother, before you find yourself smitten.

            Things change and belongings multiply. Before you know it that beautiful date with a single bag has morphed into a bag with a singular objective.

            More stuff.

  • Claudia Azula

    I love reading the theories about the 2-5 thousand to 10 thousand hours.  Believe in it.  putting in the time to learn is critical :-)

  • Ninty9problemz

    James, can you elaborate on this a bit…”If you want to be an entrepreneur, starting come up with ideas now, ideas that are doable with limited resources, start doing them, start selling them to customers, investors, acquirers. Just start.”

    I’m stuck in this position right now. I want to start a business but I can’t seem to make up my mind on which field I want to startup in. I write ideas down and every time I think I come up with something, I cut the cord on it half way through because I know my heart isn’t fully into it. Can you offer some guidance? Truly appreciate it.


    • James Altucher

      I will elaborate on that in a separate post.

      • Ninty9problemz

        Thanks. I’ll be reading as always.

        • Jimwerner

          Hi! For years, many long years I had a similar problem. There is a song by Oasis – The Importance of Being Idle that addresses this state of mind. Look it up. Luckily for me, I was always confident enough to know that once I set my mind to something, I would eventually be successful. My greatest fear was not failure, my greatest fear was being successful at the wrong thing that would end up making me miserable and trapped into a certain lifestyle. So I consciously decided to just explore the world and see what sticks. I made this decision when I was 19, and when I was 29 I finally found it. It takes a lot of self-belief and perseverance to wait that long. By that time most of my friends had me labeled as a loser. But guess what, now I’m in my mid 30s, my friends are trapped in jobs they hate and I couldn’t be happier, business is growing and I can see myself doing it until the day I drop, hopefully in my late 90s. Now that I look back, I probably did put around 10000 hours into incessant everyday searching…

  • Anonymous

    A glass cup up to the wall? So 20th century. Did you take off the sanitary wrapper?

    Haven’t we learned anything from the Erin Andrews case? Hand powered drills are obligatory when traveling overnight. Besides, its a visual world.

  • Ben Klaus

    James, have you read the Gladwell piece about the Beatles? They got some gig in Germany at a club where they had to play like 40 hours a week or something. So they were able to accrue 10,000 hours of practice on stage when very young. Fascinating stuff.

  • Anonymous

    Could have done without the first part of the story;balance is important, change will come .

  • Purvi Rajani

    I read the TechCrunch version but this is different. Will need to be careful to read both from now on. Excellent post as always James. I like your posts on entrepreneurship and idea gen the best, though I find wisdom in all of them.

  • Amorphous

    I always wondered: how can an entrepreneur put the 10.000 hours in? I understand if I play 1000 matches of chess and study all the grandmaster games I will become quite good at chess but as an entrepreneur? Starting on business after the other, is that it? How to make sure I spent my time on the right things to become sucessful as an entrepreneur?

  • Mikeh

    10000 hrs is one of those data points that is oh so appealing to the human nature’s quest for “the secret”. More likely that the average of hrs is coincidental …

    If it was entirely causal, we could just train the unemployed to become professional golfers! They make a lot of money! (Actually, we do try a variant of this when we try to make college available to everyone. Incentives always matter, but are incredibly hard to get right).

  • Jgoo052

    Ah, yes.– “All the cildren are above average!”

  • Duh…

    An interesting idea, but I think you ignore a very important component of success — talent.

    When I was a boy, I wanted to be a great basketball player. I practiced a LOT–many thousands of hours–but didn’t quite make the level of Michael Jordan. In fact, I didn’t even get a college scholarship. But it wasn’t for lack of effort. And I was unquestionably above average — far above average.

    Oh, but I’m not all that tall, and I wasn’t THAT good.

  • Conor

    Cool read.  10,000 hours = world class…  but 100 hours = better than the nearest 100 people…  1000 hours = damn close to world class and already pretty respected.

    You get some bonuses on the way to the 10,000 hours.  You just got to get started.

    The most poisoness substance in the human mind?  An excuse.

  • Ohmylookathatguy

    As I woke up this morning, I felt very tired and weak. I looked at the time and it was 2:30 p.m. So I guess it was actually the afternoon. I’m 21 years old. That’s when I knew I had to change my lifestyle. So I googled “How to be the best at what you do,” and your article came up. I must admit James, your article has enlightened me in many ways. Thanks.

  • Chilluking

    Awesome :)

  • Free Online Dating

    Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

  • Sense Schooler

    “I would like to get good at meditation, for instance. What I have found recently is that studying quantum mechanics provides unbelievable insights…”

    – yup, i studied QM for years: always put me into a trance as well!        

    best cure for insomnia – read a physical chemistry text.

  • Fubar

    re: Hitchens

    Response to a religious evangelical who insulted the great atheist upon his death:

    Hitchens was certainly correct about much of what he saw as silly and flawed in religion.

    But, he was hardly able to escape his biases and the cultural limits
    of his paradigm. Not that he tried to make any such escape. His genius
    involved using the limited tools in his belief system to peel away [the
    veneer covering] horrible and ugly human flaws that religious and
    political people prefer to leave unexamined. And he should be celebrated
    for the deep humanity of that genius, not insulted for small minded

    Hitchens lived up to his ideals, which were both deeply noble and
    deeply flawed, to a much greater extent than 99% of most religious
    people do theirs.

    Hitchens was not afraid to embrace a complicated, messy human nature.

    Hitchens was not afraid to examine the various missionary projects
    of western culture in the most unvarnished manner possible, and to
    conclude that no such imperial project can ever lead to anything but
    debasement, oppression and social injustice. For over 1,000 years, such
    missionary projects have attempted to replace the divine feminine and
    the “snakepits of culture”  with “sterile wards of professional service”
    (Ivan Illich). Hitchens saw the deception and hypocrisy, the bartering
    of spirit and meaning for debased reasons, that is a major part of
    western religion (mythic religion = ethnocentrism+imperialism).

    The decent thing to do is to respect all mourning, suffering and
    loss, not use it as an opportunity to engage in small minded and flawed,
    narrow polemics.

    Religion has been one of the main tools used to oppress humanity for
    at least 8,000 years. Any person that attempts to rescue humanity from
    such oppression has made a far greater contribution to the world than
    most religion ever has.

    [original blog author] have not even attempted to stand outside your
    ideology and try to at least describe what others see of value in
    Hitchens’ work against injustice, corruption and abuse of authority
    (Jesus certainly spoke to those issues of the common good).

    … straw man arguments about atheists and the great boogey-man of
    scientific materialism are irrelevant to my points. It is however rather
    absurd to posit that evolution and brain chemistry are not at the root
    of consciousness (including “spirituality”, “mysticism”,
    “transcendence”, etc.)

    Any form of absolutism is bad. religious absolutism is bad, scientific absolutism is bad.

    The dual-inheritance theory that I’ve studied (gene-culture
    coevolution) is far beyond the unsophisticated model of evolution that
    you think “atheists” believe in. Gene-culture coevolutionary theory
    scientifically examines the ACTUAL ARTIFACTS that form the basis of
    culture and meaning (including religion). No science (which is based on
    external/systems persective) can ever address the actual inner
    “emotional” experience of transcendence that is “beyond” rational
    awareness (divine unity, ultimate emptiness, etc.).

    I believe in neither scientific nor religious absolutisms, but
    rather in a third way: holistic/integral values (transrationalism), and
    the common good.

    I see no reason that the poetry of religion (spiritual liberation) can’t be complementary to scientific rationalism.

    The problem with modernism is that it creates a form of culture that
    lacks authenticity, and eventually erodes local wisdom, shared value
    commitments, etc. This is what Habermas refers to as the “colonization
    of lifeworld by systems” (systems being “externals” such as money and
    power, lifeworld being shared meanings and the inner sense of beauty or
    the sublime).

    Religious people need to take things up several notches to be able
    to coherently address the problems inherent to modernism and

    Spirituality needs to be restructured and placed in a different
    context because human history has changed, and the old conceptual models
    are experiencing a “crisis of legitimization”. Partial truths can no
    longer claimed to be full truths.

    Hitchens actually did religious people a far bigger favor than most
    of them probably know: he pointed out what is silly about the aspects of
    prerational culture in religion so that they could then contemplate how
    to elevate their spirituality to a higher plane of meaning that can
    satisfy the “coherence needs” of a changed human condition.

    If religious people fail to elevate how they think about how they
    think, they miss the most important form of service to humanity possible
    in this age of relativism: adding spiritual authenticity to the
    discussion of a paradigm shift toward a more socially just world. 

  • manishsahajwani

    I loved this post. And I feel it’s very easy to dilute those 2000-5000 hours if you oscillate between ideas/skills, etc. I think that’s what happened to me, but now I’m more focused.

    I have one question. How to find a mentor if you don’t have one?

  • kamalravikant

    Re-reading this, one of the funniest beginning sections I’ve read in a while.