How much practice does it take to become competent in your area of specialty? Beyond that, how much of a focus does it take to become an expert in your area specialization?
In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell makes a compelling case that history repeatedly shows that it takes 10,000 hours of practice for someone in any discipline to become an expert in their field of study. You can apply that truth to any discipline in life and you will come out an expert. Any area of study.
That’s an insight that I find encouraging and hopeful. It’s possible for us to move from average in an area of life where we feel called to excel – and to knuckle down, practice, focus, discipline ourselves – and to come out as dazzling experts in that field. Sure it’s difficult and costly. Not many are willing or perhaps even able to dedicate that many hours of disciplined practice to something, but if you do you will emerge as an amazing person others will seek out as an expert in your field.
What would your life look like if you spent 10,000 hours serving others? Split that up between cleaning toilets, cleaning windshields, giving away bottles of water, giving away bags of microwave popcorn, doing car washes, et al. (you get the idea)… If you did this for 40 hours a week in a systematic way that would be a several year trek – difficult to get there, but not impossible. You’d be the next Mother Teresa. Your inner compass would be permanently reset. I know I’d show up to hear you speak. I’d buy your book and so would plenty of others!
Originally posted 2011-11-27 22:26:51.