What’s standing between you & Greatness?
The Dilbert cartoon (shown here) got me thinking about “The 10K Hour Hurdle” (or “The 10K Hour Rule” as some people describe it) and how it applies to those of us who are chasing Greatness after 50.
Have you read Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers”? That was where I was first exposed to the “10,000 Hour” concept. This is how wikipedia describes it…
A common theme that appears throughout Outliers is the “10,000-Hour Rule”, based on a study by Anders Ericsson. Gladwell claims that greatness requires enormous time, using the source of The Beatles’ musical talents and Gates’ computer savvy as examples. The Beatles performed live inHamburg, Germany over 1,200 times from 1960 to 1964, amassing more than 10,000 hours of playing time, therefore meeting the
10,000-Hour Rule. Gladwell asserts that all of the time The Beatles spent performing shaped their talent, and quotes Beatles’ biographer Philip Norman as saying, “So by the time they returned to England from Hamburg, Germany, ‘they sounded like no one else. It was the making of them.'” Gates met the 10,000-Hour Rule when he gained access to a high school computer in 1968 at the age of 13, and spent 10,000 hours programming on it.
In Outliers, Gladwell interviews Gates, who says that unique access to a computer at a time when they were not commonplace helped him succeed. Without that access, Gladwell states that Gates would still be “a highly intelligent, driven, charming person and a successful professional”, but that he might not be worth US$50 billion. Gladwell explains that
reaching the 10,000-Hour Rule, which he considers the key to success in any field, is simply a matter of practicing a specific task that can be accomplished with 20 hours of work a week for 10 years. He also notes that he himself took exactly 10 years to meet the 10,000-Hour Rule, during his brief tenure at The American Spectator and his more recent job at The Washington Post.
Who has 10K hours?
That is an excellent question.As you get older, you realize that you might not have 40 or 50 (or even 10-20 years) left in your life (unless you are like me and plan to live forever). Now add on that the idea of committing 10,000 hours (10K hours) to one activity or goal and you might be asking yourself if it is worth it.
If you are going to commit yourself to Greatness After 50, it will take quite a bit of work and you don’t want to go down the wrong road. So, think carefully… but don’t wait too long or life will pass you by !
Let’s get specific.
If you work on something for 40 hours a week, that means it would take you about 5 years to get to 10K hours (assuming 2 weeks off for vacation) … but who is really going to have the time to work on something full time for 5 years? Hmmm, maybe someone who is RETIRED?
If you are retired with a purpose, 5 years could go by in a flash and you could, in theory, become world-class in your chosen activity. At the very least, you would likely become very good at it.
What are you willing to invest 10K hours toward accomplishing?
Every day you wait is one day lost. Start now!
Greatness awaits !