[from book part 7 – APPRECIATE YOUR SELF]

“It’s certainly possible to get by in life without dedication. The craftsman represents the special human condition of being engaged.” (Richard Sennett, philosopher.)

“The better your technique, the longer you can rehearse without becoming bored.” (Isaac Stern, violinist.)

At what point are you ‘good’ at something? It is said that we have to practice for at least 10.000 hours, to conquer the specific skill we want to master. While writing this book, it’s seven years ago that Appreciative Inquiry crossed my path. I wrote a few chapters and blogs about it (50), followed a four-day course (60), attended network meetings (40), had long conversations with AI-practitioners (20), co-initiated a social enterprise to spread AI (100), co-produced an extended AI learning program (80), attended the world AI conference (100), co-organized several AI-events (40), followed ‘my own’ learning program completely for three times (480), facilitated tens of mini-AI-workshops (30) and designed and facilitated about twenty AI-summits (1000). This may seem impressive. Counting the hours of learning-by-doing in that past seven years, they add up to 2000 hours… In the past two years, AI was with me almost every day, with an average awareness of two hours a day; that raises my exercise time to 2700 hours. O, and let’s not forget the writing of this book, until now reaching 300. That makes 3000 hours of practicing Appreciative Inquiry so far…

The idea that I was really going to do this 10.000 hour test, excited me. This is the first time I counted hours of studying something. The 3000 feel okay. If the theory is right, still 7000 to go. I love to practise AI. And I’m still getting better, that is: in practising. When I jog my memory to find out where the real click for me turned up, I guess this was during the World AI Conference in 2012 in Ghent, Belgium. That was a five-day total immersion of AI. Based on a rough calculation and a progressive hour consumption during the seven years, my ‘tipping point’ may have been after a 1000 hours of giving sustainable attention to AI. Nice!

Working in the field of sustainable organization development, incorporating AI in my activities is not only beneficial in my private life; it helps me to become more successful as a social entrepreneur. Let’s be realistic to you: both to the ordinary and extraordinary human being who follows the suggestion on the cover of this book, and to the person who is going to try AI at home (and hopefully beyond). How long would it take you to complete the magical 1000 hours tipping point? I’m just wondering…


What practises would you choose, to ‘try AI at home’?

How would you assure that practising stays fruitful and rewarding?

And will you promise me not to count your hours in the first seven years?


You’ve just read one of the 100 chapters of my book Appreciative Inquiries of the 3.0 Kind.
Check www.appreciativeinquiries.eu for free download and ordering printed copies.