You may have heard of the “10,000-hour rule.” It became popular after it appeared in Malcolm Gladwell’s 2008 nonfiction book Outliers. To come up with the catchy term, which dictates that to become excellent at something, a person needs to practice at least 10,000 hours, Gladwell used research done by K. Anders Ericsson, an expert in how to become an expert in things.
Stephen Dubner, half of the Freakonomics team, asked Ericsson about the alleged discrepancy on a recent podcast episode:
…I think there’s really nothing magical about 10,000 hours. Just the amount of experience performing may in fact have very limited chances to improve your performance. The key seems to be that deliberate practice, where you’re actually working on improving your own performance — that is the key process, and that’s what you need to try to maximize.
Dedicated practice, to the man who’s studied it, means practicing with intention, with a goal, with measurable progress. The best way to do this is with a teacher, trainer, or coach, no matter what you’re hoping to improve.
Fitness works the same way. You may never be an Olympian, but with purposeful practice — not even 10,000 hours!! — you will progress.
You can work out on your own, but if you have someone at your side, helping you improve, you’ll get fitter, better, faster. That’s dedication.Tags: 10000 hours, Freakonomics, Outliers, science, you can do it!