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The 10,000 Hour Rule

I've heard it before from various sources, but I just read it again in Malcolm Gladwell's book, "The Outliers."   Mastery of a craft (talent, job skill, hobby, etc.) takes about 10,000 hours.  Some people rush it, as when they are consumed with something.  Some people take the long slow journey, like the long time employee who has done the same job for a lifetime.  But pretty much across the board, it takes 10,000 hours for mastery.  Oh, you can be good; you can have talent or skill; you can be utterly sincere; you can have a great desire to succeed.  In fact you must have these things for success, but most importantly, these things usually move you to the front line of opportunities.  And it's the opportunities that enable you to keep working at your craft that continues to give you the leg up on the competition.  I noticed long ago that the kids who would get the lead parts in the teen musicals would often get them time and again.  They were better usually, but not by a great deal when they got their first parts. I suspected, though,  the reason they got better and better and kept getting the good parts was because they had more opportunities to practice their craft, and they had mentors paying close attention to them each time they got a special part.  To quote Ady Abbot's blog on Heretic Entertainment's website hereticentertainment.blogspot.com, "In Gladwell's examples, the future success stories were only happy to have a chance to do the work they loved.  Because they loved the work, they did it as often as they could.  Because they wanted it, obsessed on it and delighted in every opportunity to do it, they were provided with opportunities to work.  No guarantees of glory, just the chance to work a lot - that's what got them their 10,000 hours.  They were most certainly born with talent and potential, but lots and lots of work made them masters of their relative crafts."  So, bottom liine - do you love your craft enough to "obsess" on it?  10,000 hours goes by a lot faster when you love the journey.

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Reader Comments (1)

I just read that book, so interesting! I have always wondered how many hours I have put into singing.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMonika G.

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