Sivers' post on learning musical composition at an accelerate rate is fascinating to me. Sivers is clearly an extraordinary human being. Looking around his site, I found a bit on shortening the time between thinking and doing, challenging himself, and doing what scares you.
Sivers has created a great deal of success for himself, and is probably a very inspiring speaker. Hell, I feel inspired right now. Yet I cannot help but wonder where there is a place in Sivers world for human frailty, and human brokenness. What made me wonder is this:
Ever since our five lessons, high expectations became my norm, and still are to this day. Whether music, business, or personal - whether I actually achieve my expectations or not - the point is that I owe every great thing that's happened in my life to Kimo's raised expectations. That's all it took. A random meeting and five music lessons to convince me I can do anything more effectively than anyone expects.
(And so can anyone else.)
I wish the same experience for everyone. I have no innate abilities. This article wasn't meant to be about me as much as the life-changing power of a great teacher and raised expectations.
I have bad news for you Derek. You do have innate abilities, they are just much, much better than everyone else's. I don't really dispute the value of hard work, especially focused hard work guided by a mentor like he is talking about here. I also don't dispute that people can usually do more than they think they can.
I just think this stuff is dangerous for the less gifted people of the world. How well is this all really going to work out for the slow and the unmotivated? The problem is that we do have innate capacities, that are partially constrained by heredity. The capacity for hard work is something that is not equally distributed. Some people just cannot do it, and if they try they will burn out or break down when their capacity is exceeded. Where is the philosophy of personal success and satisfaction for the below average?
It is probably too much to expect Sivers to be all things to all men, but our age is leaving the less-able further and further behind by pretending that everyone can be anything if only they tried harder.