Well, at least this is what Malcolm Gladwell claims in his newest book Outliers, which I must say is one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever encountered.
The Story of Success
Outliers is all about what makes people great. But it’s not your typical book that rambles on about if you believe it you can achieve it. No, you won’t read anything like that.
Instead, Gladwell explains why things such as the month you were born may very well explain why most NHL players made it to the big leagues. He also explains why Chinese children dominate American children when it comes to mathematics.
10,000 Hours of Practice
But the thing that really stuck with me, and I’d to share with you now, is how Gladwell hypothesizes that it takes – on average – 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill.
Take Bill Gates. Did you know that the young Bill Gates spent more than 10,000 hours programming computers before starting Microsoft?
How about those lads from England… you know the Beatles? I bet you didn’t know they were quite terrible before having the opportunity to perform as much as five hours a night seven days a week in Hamburg, Germany before making it big.
Sure Gates and the Beatles had talent. But they also worked extremely hard. You see, it seems they practiced their way to the top.
What about Continuous Improvement?
So I couldn’t help but wonder if this 10,000 hour rule applied to those of us “practicing” continuous improvement.
To get in 10,000 hours of practice this really means spending approximately:
- 4 hours a day;
- 5 days per week;
- Over a span of 10 years practicing your trade.
What do you think? Is there anything to this 10,000 hour rule? If not, are you willing to prove the hypothesis wrong?