Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Key To Success: 10,000 Hour Rule

We all, in our own way, strive or aspire to be successful; and there are many different definitions of success as well. Whether success can be quantified as money, fame or fortune can be argued. However, achievement of excellence is more easy to identify. The excellent teacher, doctor, business person, engineer, scientist, athlete, lawyer, entertainer, leader and yes even writer unequivocally stand head and shoulders above the pack.

Their emergence leads us all to breathtakingly ask, how did they do it?

Malcolm Gladwell, famed author of Outliers, apparently has the answer, and the answer is the 10,000 Hour Rule - discovered by neurologist Daniel Levitin. Yes, ability and talent are prerequisites but without adherence to the 10,000 Hour Rule the striver probably will fall short of excellence in their chosen field.

10,000 Hour Rule:

Gladwell quotes neurologist Daniel Levitin as follows:

“In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice-skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, this number comes up again and again. Ten thousand hours is equivalent to roughly three hours a day, or 20 hours a week, of practice over 10 years… No one has yet found a case in which true world-class expertise was accomplished in less time. It seems that it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery.“

The secret is finding a passion that study and practice becomes second nature and not a chore. As the proverbial adage says: Your passion is what you are willing to do even if nobody pays you for it.

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