Friday, 25 January 2013

Does it Really Take 10,000 Hours to be an Expert? : Under30Careers

10,000 hours to masteryWhat is the 10,000 Hour Rule?

In order for any individual to master any complex skill he or she must put in 10,000 hours of focused practice which is approximately 10 years of their life.

10,000 hours to develop skill, certainty, discipline, professionalism, awareness, with deliberate practice.  “We are not working for works sake, producing for productions sake.  What we are trying to do is to find a way to release the truth that lies in all of us.”

Achieving a Break-Thru™ is about time and effort.  But, how much time we put in is much less important than how we get there.  We’ve often been asked, what’s more important quality or quantity? In achieving personal development goals, quality is more important that quantity: the quality of people you surround yourself with, the quality of resources you have, and what you do with those resources or the support system.  Reaching your goal is about accountability, maximizing intensity, and taking action.  Transformation is a constructive process, and requires devotion to one’s craft.

We all would like to master a skill that we are unfamiliar with. Whether it’s cooking a great meal, learning a new language, or creating a successful business, mastering a skill helps us grow our character and increase our knowledge. Most people however want results as quick as possible. They want to become the best at something as fast as they can. It just doesn’t work that way. The good news is it doesn’t take rocket science to achieve mastery, but it will take a certain set of behaviors to get the job done.

If you’ve ever looked at famous players like Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, or Bruce Lee, these people were the masters of their game. But as non-human as they may seem to us, they all started from the beginning and they weren’t always the best when they started out either. Nobody is. But there are people who excel faster than others when mastering a new skill. In fact, the secret isn’t so complex. It’s just a matter of working the right way.

Expect Mastery from the Start

One of the most important factors to whether a person achieves mastery is his or her attitude. We can’t go into a field and start by saying, “Whatever happens, happens.” We have to expect mastery from the get-go. There has to be a certain desire or passion for it.

One great way to get this desire is to pretend that the skill we are learning is going to be something that we will have to teach others in the near future. We can make it even more extreme by saying that one day we will have to use this skill in order to lead our country with it. The higher the purpose, the more attention we will pay on detail through the process of learning the skill. But it has to first start from our expectations. High expectations lead to high results.

Learn from the Best

Think back to a time where you often hung out with a group of people. This may be from high school or from a club in college. Didn’t you ever notice that the more time you spent with these people, the more your thinking process became like them? When we constantly surround ourselves with the same people, we begin to act like them, we begin to think like them, and we begin to be like them.

That’s why in order to reach mastery of a certain skill, we need to surround ourselves with people who know the skill best. But what if we can’t get a hold of celebrities of famous authors? The reality is that we probably can’t if they’re a thousand miles away from us or just are totally inaccessible. But what we can do is surround ourselves with their knowledge through their works such as videos they’ve produced or books they’ve written. If a person watches a tape or reads a book over and over again, eventually they will start to adopt new ways of acting and thinking. It’s just a matter if one is willing to dig out the past material, study it, and apply it into their own lives.

Get the Basics Down First

This is the step where most people go wrong. You can’t decide to master the game of golf without knowing how to do the basic swing. Similarly, you can’t decide to score twenty points in a game when you don’t know the basic arm position form of shooting. Everybody wants to get to the flashy skills – the ones that awe people – but they rush past the fundamental steps in order to reach that level.

Instead, spend as much time possible until each basic skill set is perfected. For example, remember those times when we had to write English papers for our professors? Maybe you still do. To get a solid A, you can’t expect to ramble off whatever is in your mind. A good essay consists of the basic understanding of how to organize an essay, how to write a thesis statement, how to make the essay persuasive through supporting examples, and how to properly use grammar and punctuation. These are just the basics. But without any of these steps, the essay is bound to be flawed.

Practice Until Perfection

Okay, so once you’ve got the expectations, the people that you’re going to learn from, and the basics down, the last step towards perfection is probably going to be the longest step. It is however, the most rewarding, and it is practice. The people who are at the top of their game have spent endless hours each mastering their craft. These include rock stars bands like The Beatles, software developers like Bill Gates, and music composers like Mozart.

In a passage from Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell writes:

The idea that excellence at performing a complex task requires a critical minimum level of practice surfaces again and again in studies of expertise. In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.

I can totally hear you screaming, “Ten thousand hours?” That’s the number that experts say it takes to reach true mastery. But that doesn’t mean that you need to be the next Bill Gates or Mozart in order to become a master at it. You do however need to practice at a skill enough times until it seems perfect to you. If you have this kind of mentality, whether or not you are trying to be the best at it, you will be able to learn any new skill quickly, eventually master it, and also be able to excel faster than other anybody else who is trying to acquire the same skill as you.

One of the most important factors to whether a person achieves mastery is his or her attitude.  The right action and attitude will help you master the desired skills faster than just putting in the hours.

Melissa Krivachek President of Briella Arion is deeply & passionately committed to the growth & effectiveness of leaders, teams, and organizations. Melissa is a High Caliber Leadership, Sales, and Personal Growth Expert, Author, Speaker, Coach, and Life Enthusiast! To IGNITE your Purpose, Presence, Passion, & Profit visit Briellaarion.com or Ignite-Leadership.com

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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