Outliers - 10,000 hour rule

I am in the middle of reading the book Outliers , by journalist and author Malcolm Galdwell. One of the most interesting and famous concepts is the idea of 10,000 hours. This is a rule that for anyone to master anything in life, it must be practiced for at least 10,000 hours. This is such a mind shifting realization; often times we (society) sensationalize individuals who are masters at their craft. We chuck it up to luck, timing, and even genetics. Galdwell gives a plethora of examples in the book, some of the most notable being The Beatles and Bill Gates. Even though the individuals, environments, and circumstances are unique, the patterns and principles are the same. When given the opportunity and discipline to practice a craft for 10,000 hours, masters are created .

The Beatles played nightly in a Hamburg Germany bar for years that required them to be on stage for eight hours a night, long before their breakthrough performance in 1964 on The Ed Sullivan show.

In 1968, as a schoolboy, Bill Gates had unique access to a mainframe computer that the parents’ association of his local school invested in. As early as eighth grade he was obsessed with practicing coding, decades before Microsoft could even be conceptualized.

Galdwell goes on to demonstrate the 10,000 hour rule with the likes of Mozart, Tiger Woods, and more.

So lets put 10,000 hours into perspective:

40 hours a week (~6 hours per day) x 52 weeks (1 year) x 5 years = 10,400 hours

20 hours a week (~3 hours per day) x 52 weeks (1 year) x 10 years = 10,400 hours

It’s easy to see that the secret to mastery is that there really are no short cuts, regardless of how talented or brilliant a may be individual, true mastery requires patience and practice. This book is a very interesting read, I can’t wait to finish. Have you read Outliers? What are you devoting 10,000 hours to?


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