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The Real Secret to Mastery: A New Take on the 10,000-hour Rule

Friday, November 10, 2023


The Real Secret to Mastery: A New Take on the 10,000-hour Rule


You've probably heard of the 10,000-hour rule from Malcolm Gladwell's book "Outliers: The Story of Success". It says that to become an expert at anything, you need to practice it for at least 10,000 hours. But guess what? That's not the full story. I'm here to tell you why it's time to look at this rule in a new way.

First, let's agree that practice is important. Without it, we can't get better at anything. Some folks adjusted the 10,000-hour rule to say "10,000 PASSIONATE hours" is what we need to become masters. While it's true that passion can help you stick with something, this also doesn't quite hit the mark.

The Real Deal: 10,000 Tries

To truly become great at something, it's not about counting hours. It's about trying, adjusting, testing, and demanding more from yourself 10,000 times. You heard it right. You need to make attempts, change your approach, and keep pushing until you hit the mark. It's about progress, not perfection.

Remember what Thomas Edison, the man who invented the light bulb, said when people asked him about his many failed attempts? He said, "I have not failed 10,000 times—I've successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work." That's the spirit we need to have.

From Good to Great

The leap from being good at something to being great isn't as big as you might think. The difference between "good" and "great" might just be one more change in what you're doing. The power of trying, adjusting, and insisting on more can make your work 10 to 20% better. And guess what? That improvement can give you 10 to 100 times more returns on the time you've put in.

Here's the magical part. Each time you revise, the quality of your work improves. The number of tries might go down, but that's okay. You're getting better each time, you're setting higher standards for yourself, and you're changing the game.

Wrapping Up

So, the next time you hear someone talking about the 10,000-hour rule, remember this: It's not about how long you practice. It's about how many times you try, adjust, test, and demand more from yourself. It's about having the courage to make changes and keep pushing.

Remember, you are capable of great things. Don't just aim to be good. Aim to be great. Make those 10,000 tries count, and who knows? You just might change the world.

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