Greatness comes at a price. In his book Outliers: Stories of Success, Malcolm Gladwell posed the idea that it costs 10,000 hours of practice to be truly great at something. He mentions Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as examples, as well as Michael Jordan. Others who fall into that same category are stars, past and present, like Ted Williams, Wayne Gretzky, Peyton Manning, and Tiger Woods. Every sport has athletes known for their obsessive work habits and dedication to mastering their craft, and the same is true of most prolific authors, actors, movie directors, musicians, designers, and even pastors.
But what did it really cost? Every hour given to practice is an hour debited elsewhere. Family, relationships, personal spiritual life, mental and physical health, rest, and service to the church or community all pay taxes to “greatness.”
Think of your own life and the things in which you would like to excel: work, a creative endeavor, fitness. To do them it is necessary to not do something else, and often that something else truly matters, eternally matters. Faith, family, church, and community are all parts of life we often do not think of “mastering” but are foundational in a fulfilled Christian life. Yet these are the things we set aside to become great in some other area. Is it worth the cost?
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