Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.” – Albert Einstein
Have you ever wondered how long it takes to become a truly great Tarot reader? I know I have!
Back when I first started learning the Tarot, I used to imagine what it might be like to deal out some cards and know exactly what they meant. I was mesmerized by all those Tarot books that claimed to teach the Tarot in 30 days; a week; or even a few hours. You know the kind! The kind that sets the reader up for a big fail.
I want to believe in a magical universe; a magical universe where all we have to do is Will ourselves to mastery. A sort of
self-help gurus dream…
think that you will be great and you will be. Unfortunately, reality is slightly different. There is no magical formula to becoming truly great, no magical words and
Hey presto, you’re an expert.
Reality, in this case, is a little less magical than we’d like. Or maybe that’s a fortunate thing.
There’s only one way to become truly great at something:
- First, you must learn it by reading or listening to others who know how to do it, but most especially by doing.
- Then do some more. At this point, you’ll start to understand it, but you’ll suck. This stage could take months.
- Do some more. After a couple of years, you’ll get good at it.
- Do some more. If you learn from mistakes, and aren’t afraid to make mistakes in the first place, you’ll go from good to great.
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell, the sociologist, claims that the key to successful learning and mastering any skill, is practice.
The 10,000 hour rule
It takes anywhere from 6-10 years to get great at something, depending on how often and how much you do it. Gladwell estimates that it takes 10,000 hours to master something.
What’s really interesting about this 10,000-hour rule is that it applies virtually everywhere, Gladwell told a conference held by The New Yorker magazine.
You can’t become a chess grand master unless you spend 10,000 hours on practice.
Want to be a great Tarot reader?
Put in 10,000 hours of practice. It’s that simple!
It’s possible to be great within a few years, if you have the God-given talent of a mythical
master Tarot reader, but most of us toil for over a decade and are still trying to get better. We’re still learning, to this day, and if we look back on our first few years of learning the Tarot — we’ll tell you we sucked (for the most part) back then.
Want to be a great professional Tarot reader? Same deal. I’ve been doing it full time for almost three years, and I’m still only competent. You have to do it, make mistakes, learn, really begin to understand it, and someday, if you stick with it, you’ll be great.
There’s no one who is great at his profession who hasn’t been doing it for at least 6 years — no designer, no programmer, no carpenter, no architect, no surgeon, no teacher, no musician, no artist, and no Tarot reader … you get the point. I dare you to name one. Most have been doing it for over a decade, and are still looking to improve.
It takes desire, it takes drive, it takes lots and lots of doing.
I’m just starting to learn the Tarot
So here’s the thing: don’t get discouraged if you’re just starting out. Have fun, like we all did in the beginning. If you have fun, you’ll learn to love it, and that’s when it clicks. When you love something, you’ll want to do it all the time, sometimes late at night and often, you’ll jump out of bed and want to do it before you move your morning bowels.
That’s how you get great. By loving it so much your morning bowel movement takes second seat.
Find that desire. Do it, don’t just read about it. Don’t buy a single product or book or magazine that claims to teach you how to read Tarot cards in minutes, hours, days. They’re lying to your face, with a hand in your pocket at the same time.
Do it, keep doing it, then keep doing it some more. It’s the only way to get great, but the good news: anyone can do it. It just takes some time and some doing. Hey presto.
When the world says,Give up,
Hope whispers,Try it one more time.
This article was originally written by Zen Habits, The only way to become amazingly great at something.