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The ten thousand hour theory

26 December 2012 No Comment



The latest book from Malcolm Gladwell has caused quite some buzz in the media. He has outlined thought provoking ideas and this book needs serious attention.

His book is called Outliers. This book outlines some important points such as:

1: The place of your birth can determine, whether you are successful or not.

2: Becoming a successful person in a field takes ten thousand hours of work.

3: These two points are important and talent should be neglected and forgotten for good.

Big names and great work record

Let’s look at some people who applied the ten thousand hour theory without knowing about it.

1: Tiger Woods

2: Bill Joy

3: Bill Gates

4: The Beatles

5: Beethoven

All of these above personalities achieved fame and fortune after completing ten thousand hours of work. It’s not easy to get there, but being the best needs extraordinary work and dedication.

The theory pales a bit

This theory seems erroneous. Miley Cyrus has not spent ten thousand hours and she was a superstar. The Doors was a band, who did not play for ten thousand hours and became instant famous. They invented a new genre of rock. They succeeded quite early.

Also, people like Doc Searls and Scoble never reached ten thousand hour mark while blogging, and yet they became the best bloggers in the known world. Molly Katzen did not spend ten thousand hours in the kitchen and wrote a book.

Last but not the least

Many struggling bands gave ten thousand hours playing music and working in the studio. All to no avail. This means that working hard may sometimes amount to zero.

Most people bolt after five thousand hours of work. Ten thousand hours is a magical number and takes time and effort to reach. Normally, it takes ten thousand hours to win and those hours are for just the preparation.

It matters

It does matter, where and how were you born. It does matter if you got lucky. Also, it matters that you fell down and stood up and faced the intensity.

The ten thousand hour rule is from Malcolm Gladwell book titled Outliers: The story of success. People are reading the line wrong and misinterpreting it all along. He says that a person needs to have ten thousand hours behind his work for being a successful person.

People have read the line wrong or not read it at all. Here is the line in this article. He says that in fact, by the age of twenty, the top performers had completed ten thousand hours of practice.

This is written on page forty.

The picture, which emerges from this scenario is that ten thousand hours of practice is required for achieving mastery on being an expert on one field. Ten thousand hours is a magic number for success and tried and tested recipe for success. For being a chess grandmaster, it takes ten years too.

So, all in all the thousand hour rule seems to hold some ground due to exceeding number of standout celebrities in its case.

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