The 10,000 Hours Rule

The 10,000 Hours Rule

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22nd Nov, 2021

‘Outliers: The Story of Success’ is a wonderful book written by Malcolm Gladwell in 2008.

In Outliers, Gladwell repeatedly mentions the “10,000-Hour Rule”, claiming that the key to achieving world-class expertise in any skill, is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing the correct way, for a total of around 10,000 hours.

When psychologists talk about deliberate practice, they mean practicing in a way that pushes your skill set as much as possible.

10,000 hours works out to be around 20 hours per week for ten years.

Ten years is a long time but 20 hours a week isn’t so bad especially when you consider the average person watches 20 hours of television or spends 20 hours on social media every week.

Learn to give yourself permission to ‘do’ what brings you the greatest joy – except, say, getting involved in drugs etc.

That’s the way you will find satisfaction in life. What will lead you to a fulfilling life isn’t the nouns you may use for yourself

– dancer, writer, investor, teacher etc

but the verbs you will be

– the growing, learning and pursuing that will happen in the process.

No one succeeds at a high level without innate talent, he wrote, but 

“Achievement is talent plus preparation.”

The 10000 hour research reminds us that “the closer psychologists look at the careers of the gifted, the role innate talent seems to play is smaller and the bigger role is played by preparation.”

In cognitively demanding fields, there are no naturals. Nobody walks into an operating room, straight out of a surgical rotation, and does world-class neurosurgery.

But, Most learners today are not master gardeners, but stick collectors. We walk around life, picking up titbits here and titbits there until our arms are full of sticks.

Once we have a good bunch of sticks, we do what comes

naturally whenever there is a pile of sticks lying around. We burn them.

Persist with your learning & developing expertise to succeed & stay blessed forever.