The theme in the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell is about successful people and how they were able to get there. It was clear how he analyzed and compared that not just the inherent skills of these people that made them who they are but a big part of them was also because of persistence and practice. He mentioned throughout the entire book that every successful person who is part of the American history or the world history and who has made a huge impact in the lives of mankind would have to have at least 10, 000 hours of practice, training, internship, hands-on learning before that person can be considered an expert in a field that he is associated with.
In reference to the 10, 000 hours of practice equals expertise, Malcolm Gladwell shared the story of how Bill Gates didn’t just become a computer geek overnight but he started way before he went to Harvard. When he was in high school, apparently he would sneak out in the middle of the night to his campus and re-construct or sometimes program some of their school’s computer codes and will stay there until dawn. It was to his advantage that their house is very close to his school, which during that time was the very first high school in the USA to have computer networking. He would toil hours and hours, from Mondays to Sundays during his high school years until he got to college. If you do your math, you multiply 7 hours times 7 days, that is 49 hours in a week; then multiply that by 52 (weeks) which is equals to 2, 548 hours; then multiply that by the number of years he was in high school, which was four – the magic number would total up to: 10, 192 hours! By the time he went to Harvard he was already an expert. During his sophomore year, he dropped out – because he knows more than his professors knew that time.
The Beattles were also a legendary example of practicing 10, 000 hours before they were able to rise to stardom. During the years of 1960 – 1963, they were playing in every possible clubs available in Liverpool and Hamburg, of which they gained more skills and learned to play, wrote songs at their best. When they first arrived in the US in 1964 for their tour, they had already over 10, 000 hours under their belt – and were ready to conquer the music industry.
Of course, we’ve heard the story of Thomas Edison going through at least 1, 000 light bulbs before he finally came up with the “perfect” light bulb. We’ve read stories about local musicians, writers, singers, basketball players, etc. practicing until they can no longer move their bodies. But because of diligence and the habit of practicing, each of these individuals were able to prove that they can be the experts in their field.
Would you like to be successful in your field?
Do you think you have rendered at least 10, 000 hours in the area you chose to be successful in?
Would you like to be an expert in your field?
Would you be willing to continue to work beyond 10, 000 hours?
Clock in 10, 000 hours or even more.
You’ll know, you’ll be an expert.