Tiger versus Wolfgang?

1 05 2009

If it were a battle of cool names, Mozart would definitely get my bet. I mean ‘Tiger’ is a cool name but when you’re up against Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, it’s hard to compete. (In Tiger’s defense, he’s full name is pretty neat: Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods.) Apart from the bout of names, both individuals are undisputed geniuses in their respective fields and so often the subconscious battle that exists is not between the two virtuosos but between that unapproachable expert and our mundane selves. Maybe not everyone resonates with this sentiment, but often times I pit myself (in my head) against experts of soccer, politics, and oration, wishing I could be like them, not realizing that I am not putting in the work and effort. David Brooks, in yesterday’s NYTimes Op-Ed column, writes “Genius: The Modern View” to explain how we often do not realize the sweat and toil involved in the attainment of success. I would even say that our modern culture of immediate satisfaction prevents us from reaching the hall of geniuses or even just the land of expertise.  Recently, I have an ever growing desire to become an expert at what I do, but in addition to persistence, concentration, and hard work, I believe we have to remember to keep the means the means and the ends the end. Expertise cannot be an end, but a means (no doubt a glorified means) to the end of enjoying the skills and activities that I love so much.

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