Malcolm Gladwell spoke of this concept in his bold book The Tipping Point and as I review my life I notice the truth in it. Any new skill set I have mastered has required my persistence, patience and regular practice. In our fast food, quick fix culture 10,000 hours seems like a lifetime, and many of us want speedy results. Hmmm… not possible when it comes to personal growth and development.
Take meditation for example many beginners quit as only a few months of an hour a day practice because they are not getting results quickly. Well at an hour a day it takes 27 years to get your ten thousand hours in!
When it comes to mastering the skills you will need to work with dying and death the same persistence, patience, and regular practice applies. You need first to understand the subject matter by taking a training program and getting some education and those hours count towards your ten thousand. Then you need to jump in and get yourself into the work of dying, death and grief.
Volunteer with a hospice agency, a long-term care home, or a palliative care ward. Help out friends and family in need of grief support or end of life planning. Do something everyday to improve your end of life understanding and skills, read a book, listen to a podcast or watch a movie on the topic. Simply stay active in the field.
Find yourself a mentor or coach who will support your desire to master the skill set required to be a great end of life practioner – we all need objective outside input as we build a new set of skills. Michael Jordan needed a coach, so did Wayne Gretzky, Ton Brady, Serena Williams, and Rollie Fingers. Even the once great Tiger Woods needed a swing coach.
Most importantly, if you do have a calling to involve yourself in supporting people at the end of life, begin now, take a training program, get a coach or mentor to support you and jump in, begin building your wisdom base now.