The secret to becoming an outlier – 10,000 hours

It’s been quite a while since I posted something in my blog.  I’ve been busy for the past couple of weeks at work and had a lot of things in my mind, especially with the current financial crisis and how it impacts me and my wife’s life.

The one thing, though, that I am always fond of doing, is reading books.  I read from a blog about this new book of Malcolm Gladwell titled “Outliers – the story of success”.

The new book by Malcolm Gladwell aims to explain how successful people become successful, not by identifying their traits, or what they do, but by examining their past, their history, whether they got to be successful by their own talents or by chance.  I was fascinated to see the story of Bill Gates in that book.  According to Malcolm Gladwell, the number of hours it takes to become an “Outlier” (exceptionally successful) is 10,000 hours.  That number of hours is the magic number to become an expert in a chosen field.  Long before Bill Gates became the richest man in the world, he was just a kid, who loved to program day and night, who had the extraordinary opportunity to be exposed to this technology, in a time where a PC was still an idea and computer is synonymous to BIG mainframes occupying entire rooms.

10,000 hours.  That’s a lot.  No wonder, the very successful people start out very young.  It made me think, if I want to spend the 10,000 hours to become a master in what I do, I must REALLY LOVE what I’m doing.  Otherwise, it will be such a drag and it will seem to be a punishment instead of a blessing.  The more I think of it, the more I question myself whether I’ve already earned my 10,000 hours.  And whether I really love what I do for a living.  And if I find out I don’t really like what I do, whether I would want to finish earning the 10,000 hours.

How about you?  What would you do for 10,000 hours?

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3 Responses to The secret to becoming an outlier – 10,000 hours

  1. Minh Ha October 12, 2009 at 10:59 pm #

    “If I want to spend the 10,000 hours to become a master in what I do, I must REALLY LOVE what I’m doing. Otherwise, it will be such a drag and it will seem to be a punishment instead of a blessing.”

    This statement made my day… Even Gladwell didn’t mention that!

    • akosiallan October 17, 2009 at 9:18 pm #

      I’m glad to hear it made your day (hopefully a little bit brighter)! 🙂

  2. Louis March 7, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    Very true but don’t forget that those 10,000 hours are not just hours spend to practice what you want to be good at, it should be practice with passion.

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