10,000 Hours of What?


They say that you can become an expert after investing 10,000 hours into any particular discipline. Elite musicians, artists and athletes share this one thing in common: experience. Authors like Nick Baylis and Malcolm Gladwell suggest that experts have put in the time. If the 10,000 hour rule has some merrit then you have to to ask the question: 10,000 hours of what? I doubt that I have invested 10,000 hours into any marketable skill. What about reaching, teaching, or writing? Nope, nope and nope. I dont think that my love of video games has even cracked the 10K mark (but I am well on the way). Is there anything in your life that may be closely approaching the 10,000 hour mark? Some of are becoming expert television watchers or laundry folders but what about investing time into something that excites you?

I reflected on my own practice of speaking to children. I spend an average of five hours a week up front. I also have the occasional opportunity to speak at camps or other special events for kids. I would say that in any given year I am speaking to elementary kids for a total of 275 hours a year. Multiply that times six years of professional experience and boom! I have accumulated a total of 1,650 hours. Apparently I am not an expert yet.

We all want to be good at what we do but we dont often consider the cost of excellence. Whether or not the 10,000 Hour Rule is a legitimate measure of expertise, we know that it takes a lot of time to become great. Consider what you are investing your time into. Consider what things you want to be known for. I have a long way to go if I want to become an expert speaker for kids. I would imagine that you have a long way to go too.

What do you want to become an expert at? Take a guess at ow many hours have you logged so far.

Brent Colby1 Comment