Friday, June 8, 2012

10,000 Hours

I must be the only person in America who has never watched American Idol on television. I have been a bit put off by the American Idol syndrome. It has led the populous to believe native talent and personality can make us an overnight success, that you can by-pass the hard work, preparation, and sacrifice that success ordinarily calls for.

The American Idol syndrome is an illusion, a mirage, a lie. If you want to be good at something, whether it is hitting a baseball, playing a piano, or doing surgery it takes discipline and lots of practice.

It requires what columnist David Brooks calls the 10,000 hour rule. Mr. Brooks rightly points out that we are not good at a thing until we have practiced for 10,000 hours. It is ok to have a hobby, but you are not going to be good at something unless you are willing to clock in the hours.

1 comment:

  1. Jim,
    Thank you so much for your contined daily bits of wisdom, they can be very impacting. I completely agree with your stance of undervaluing hard work but shouldn't Malcolm Gladwell receive credit for the 10,000 hour rule from his book "Outliers"?