Long ago in my first year living here in China, I learned that "Kung Fu" actually meant that you have expert proficiency in something.  It has come to mean expert proficiency in the martial arts, but you could, theoretically, exhibit kung fu cooking skills, or painting skills, anything.

For example, while I'm busy working on my Kung Fu parenting skills (still a long way of from being a master), Kung Fu Photographer Martin Klimas shoots ceramic pieces at a moment of impact.  Particularly noteworthy are these Kung Fu pieces in mid-destruction.


Perhaps his work illustrates best the idea that destruction is part of creation!

I was thinking of this idea today, because our school's guest speaker Dr. Yong Zhou was talking to our students about taking risks, finding their bliss, and achieving mastery.  His speech channeled all the best ideas of Dan Pink, Malcolm Gladwell, Joseph Campbell, and the countless artists who espouse hard work and risk taking as key attributes of success.  In particular, he talked about the 10,000 Hour Rule, but framed it in such a way that it made even more sense to me- he explained that the 10,000 hour rule doesn't mean doing the same thing every hour for 10,000 hours.  It means using your time to push yourself further in your selected discipline.

And that, grasshopper, is how you become a kung fu master!


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