10,000 Hours

In the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, chapter two discusses the 10,000 hour rule. In a nutshell every super accomplished person has had to put in at least 10,000 of practicing their skill. It doesn’t matter whether it is playing the violin or winning a gold medal in track and field. If you want to be the best at anything, you need to log about 10,000 hours of doing it. That’s roughly an hour every single day for 30 years at a minimum. That means, the day you turn 20 if you practice one hour every day by age 50 you could achieve top level in your craft. But, if you miss a week here or there you will merely be good, never great.

Imagine never taking a single day off for 30 years, showing up every day. It’s just an hour. How many of us could realistically do that?

I bet most people would confess to watching tv for at least one hour every single day. Consider yourself an elite tv watcher! Most people have logged 10,000 of television viewing by the age of 30.

One hour a day at anything is quite relative. An hour a day picking up dog shit in the yard is gross. An hour a day listening to a positive podcast sounds like a great idea. An hour locked in a crate with snakes is a terrible idea. An hour lunch with people you like sounds like fun. It’s the same amount of time, used differently.

If you live to be 80 and put in 10,000 hours learning a skill, that is roughly a third of your life. For me, if I start now, writing an hour a day, every day until I’m 83 will put me in the elite status of my skill.

It’s the 1% journey. I am committed to writing every day. Not because I want to reach elite status, but because the better I am at expressing myself and sharing myself through my writing, the more impact I can have on my world in a positive way.

Each day this month, I have shown up, dumped part of my brain on the page and shared it. Slow and steady wins the race. Just put one foot in front of the other. I don’t need to leap over tall buildings. Commit show up and plod along. The time is going to pass anyway, why not invest one hour each day to a skill you want to hone.

Each day 1% better.

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