“An extraordinarily consistent answer in an incredible number of fields … you need to have practiced, to have apprenticed, for 10,000 hours before you get good.”
Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers
People ran with this quote from Gladwell – thinking that with enough practice you can become good at anything. In actuality – he says that’s oversimplified. Business Insider quotes from his Reddit discussion:
“There is a lot of confusion about the 10,000 rule that I talk about in Outliers…. practice isn’t a SUFFICIENT condition for success. I could play chess for 100 years and I’ll never be a grandmaster. The point is simply that natural ability requires a huge investment of time in order to be made manifest.”
Before you go getting depressed over this revision to that old adage, the part that caught my attention was “natural ability requires a huge investment of time in order to be made manifest.” I know the answer from some might be, “but what if I have no natural ability?”
I ask you: How do you know you don’t?
Unless you invest a huge amount of time in working at it, those innate skills may not ever be “made manifest.” Wouldn’t the saddest outcome be to find out at the end of your life that you had a talent you never developed or invested in? The what-ifs could be devastating!
Today – start the journey in developing a skill. Commit yourself to the long haul; know that it might take a good while to bear fruit – but every step along that process is a chance to learn and grow. Don’t pass up a single one!