Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chapter 2: The 10,000 Hour Rule

The 10,000 hour rule is pretty simple. To become the best at something, you need to put in 10,000 hours into the task. While this seems like an outrageously high number, lets break it down into something that we can relate to. 10,000 hours equals 417 days which equals 59 weeks equaling 13 months. Looking at it that way makes it seem like a smaller mountain to climb. Thinking about that realistically, we spend that much time on something without even thinking about it. For example, when we learn to walk we put a lot of hours into it. Once we have conquered walking we then move to running, skipping and galloping. By the time that we have conquered those skills, we will have easily have put in 10,000 hours. With any athlete that you look at they will easily have spent that much time in their sport by the time they reach the age of eighteen. Most will reach that before then.
For example we can look at the Beatles and how long it took them before they gained fame. The Beatles started playing together in 1957. In 1960, they were invited to a club in Hamburg where in a year and a half they played a total of 270 nights. By the time they gained success in 1964, they had already played live 1,200 times. Many groups are not able to say that when they first begin to gain success let alone at the end of their careers. The Beatles had to learn the ins and outs of performing because they were doigng so much performing. It gave them an edge when they came to America in 1964. They had the stamina it took to keep up with the demands a music career has and they were able to perform and perform to the best of their abilities. For all of the outliers that we see in our world, we can probably trace how many hours they put into their profession and it probably comes out to 10,000 hours if not more.

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