TITLE: The Most Important Thing About the "10,000-Hour Rule" AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: June 23, 2016 2:29 PM DESC: ----- BODY: This:
But we see the core message as something else altogether: In pretty much any area of human endeavor, people have a tremendous capacity to improve their performance, as long as they train in the right way. If you practice something for a few hundred hours, you will almost certainly see great improvement ... but you have only scratched the surface. You can keep going and going and going, getting better and better and better. How much you improve is up to you.
... courtesy of Anders Ericsson himself, in a Salon piece adapted from his new book, Peak, (written with Robert Pool). Ericsson himself, author of the oft-cited paper at the source of the rule, which was made famous by Malcolm Gladwell. I've seen this dynamic play out over the years for many students. They claimed not to be able any good at math or programming, but then they decided to do the work. And they kept getting better. Some ended up with graduate degrees, and most ended up with surprising success in industry. Looked at from one perspective, the so-called 10,000 Hour Rule is daunting. "Look how far I am from being really good at this..." Many people shrink in the face of this mountain, willing to settle for limits placed on them by their supposed talents. But, as my friend Richard Gabriel often says, talent doesn't determine good you get, only how fast you get good. As I quoted from Art and Fear long ago, "talent is rarely distinguishable, over the long run, from perseverance and lots of hard work". That's the most important lesson behind Ericsson's research. If we practice right, we will get better and, with even more of the right kind of training, we will keep getting better. Our limits usually lie much farther away than we think. -----