10,000 Hours Needed to be Great

Jul 7th 2010 at 1:53 PM
There is a book out there that you need to read.  Why do you need to read this book?  BECAUSE READING BOOKS ON YOUR CRAFT WILL GET YOU AHEAD!!!   Did you get that?  Uh, you better have...   "But Maestro, I don't like to read books.  That's so antiquated.  I read the paper, and the internet.  I just don't have time..."   Ok, if that's you, let's go ahead and get that attitude changed... oh... uh... right now.  Ever heard the cliche' "knowledge is power?"  You know why it's cliche'?  Cuz it's true!  Cliche's exist because a large portion or population agree, or lend credibility to it.    Ok, so I'm off my soapbox... for now.  Don't relax, though.  I could jump back on at any time...   Outliers.  That's the name of the book.  It's written by Malcolm Gladwell.  And if I've already recommended it, well... I'm recommending it again.  And I'll probably do it again in the next few months sometime.     It's that good.   There are many, many interesting points in the book.  One stood out.  He says, and his assertions are backed by research, that it takes a person roughly 10,000 hours, or approximately 10 years (if you're really dedicated and that's all you do) to be elite in something.  Doesn't matter if you're a musician, an athlete, a business person... or a house-flipper.   10,000 hours.   How many hours a day are you spending on your business?  My guess?  Not enough...   Of course, this is assuming you have the talent in whatever you are pursuing.  And I have to tell you, I know you do.  Let's take a look at some real world examples, shall we?   Peyton Manning.  Arguably the best quarterback in football.  And, it's no secret that he's a film-junkie.  If I've heard it once, I've heard it a million times how much time he puts into watching film of his opponents. Why is he elite and others are not?  It's not talent.  They are all talented.  You don't get to the NFL without having tons of talent.  It's work-ethic.  Peyton puts in the hours, the work.  The others do not...   Bill Gates.  Always the top one or two richest men in the world.  Outliers talks about him.  He began working with computer code when he was in eighth grade!   The PC wasn't even around yet.  He was creating code for mainframes.  He used to sneak out at night from his parent's house, just to be in the computer lab. 

There are a ton of other examples.  Research any ultra-successful individual.  I bet you the assertion rings true.    "But Maestro, I know a guy who only plays golf once a month and shoots par.  I read once where this chess player became a champion just after picking up the game."   Those individuals are the exception... and account for about 1 out of every million achievers.  The rest of us have to work. If you know me, you know I'm a stickler for desire.  I always say, the one that succeeds is the one who wants it so badly, it's an obsession.  And frankly, that's how it is, [fname].  If you want to be elite in something, you have to put in the hours.   Desire, and the willingness to put in as much work as needed, is what separates the elite achievers from just the talented.  You have the talent.  

Are you willing to work? 

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