You Only Live 11 Times, SMBC

‘You Only Live 11 Times’

This is a FANTASIC comment on what we do with our lives. It’s funny, many of us have heard the statement ‘if you do something for 10 000 hours you’ll be an expert at whatever it is you’re doing.’ When I heard that for the first time, my first question was ‘well, if it takes 10 000 hrs, I wonder how many things I can master in one lifetime?’

[Show your work: assume that I will live for 75 years. That equals (75yrs * 8765 hrs/yr) 657 435 total hours in a lifetime. Therefore I can be an expert in (657 435/10 000) 65 things by the time I die].

This, of course, doesn’t take into account sleeping, eating, recreation, years as a baby/child, etc. Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has made an AMAZING comic highlighting this cool idea, and taking it one step further.

The biggest difference between SMBC and my take on the expert idea is that I was working in a finite number of hours, and SMBC seems to say that the time it takes to become an expert is roughly the time it takes to do an undergrad+masters in some subject. According to SMBC, I should have mastered two things by now (at age 18 and 25) and should now be working on my third. What did I master by the age of 18? Can I consider my work in astronomy to be what I mastered by age 25? So many questions!