10,000 hours

2 April 2009

Malcolm Gladwell can tell a tale. Peter Coclanis at Open Letters Monthly admits as much but takes Gladwell to task for passing storytelling off as science. Best bit: “data is not the plural of anecdote.”

Whether scientifically sound or not, I found one of Gladwell’s assertions especially appealing. He contends that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become truly expert. Since reading this, I’ve adjusted how I think of my vocation. Instead of seeking work at which I am innately proficient, I’ve decided that my “calling” must be something I’d be eager to practice 20 hours a week for the next 10 years in order to become so. Happily, I’m already at it.

On what are you spending 10,000 hours?

Related post:
a meaningful life

2 Responses to “10,000 hours”

  1. 1 Leah Adams
    May 13th, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Reading this book made me rethink my work, my craft, my art (not all three connected in the same time or space). Suddenly it seems okay to slow down, practice a little, try something out of my comfort zone, make something ugly.

  2. 2 Jenni
    May 13th, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    I definitely felt more inclined to allow myself to suck, though mostly at things I don’t regard as worth my 10K hours. Since I never expect to want to spend enough time at skiing (as one example) to be really good at it, am I willing to enjoy it at my level of ineptitude? I’m intrigued that you were prompted to relax with yourself about things you are investing yourself in. Tell me more!