We live the life of the Outlier and while that is a difficult existence in all realities, there is also a certain satiety in being able to view the mainstream from afar and learn from their mistakes in mass thinking. SuperGenius author Malcolm Gladwell argues in his “Outlier” book that the rule for finding the greatest success in life costs you 10,000 hours of practice and study.
10,000 hours in everyday terms generally means, in Gladwell’s book, three hours of practice and study a day in childhood for a decade.
Musicians who start learning their craft at age ten will be proficiently successful by the age of 20 — but, the catch, Gladwell presciently argues — is that few of those ten-year-olds ever make it to the ten thousand hour mark and that’s why there are not many musical prodigies or successes because, in the end, it isn’t about genetics or talent or ability or luck. It’s all about dedication and practice and 10 years of daily devotion.
Is that 10,000 hour mark arbitrary or mandatory?
Can we cheat that number down for late-blooming kids by having them practice for, say, six hours a day for five years to help them hit that golden then thousand number?
Or is the achievement of success more than just acquiring hours and the stretch of time necessarily helps form the context of mastery and understanding?
I figure I probably have well over 90,000 hours of writing mastery since my teen years — but that number was achieved by going well beyond the three-hours-a-day rule Gladwell argues.
Is there any advanced proficiency beyond the 10,000 hour mark? Or it is everything past 10,001 just gravy on the bangers and beans?
Can we play catch up on that 10,000 hour rule as an adult? If I start my musical understanding now, can I reach proper proficiency in two years with 10 hours of daily grindstoning of fingers against a fretboard? Or am I doomed to a decade of waiting for proper proficiency to hit me?
Is it possible to cheat the rule and break into premature mastery against time?