Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Practice, practice, practice...

There is a book by Malcom Gladwell called Outliers. In it, he describes something called the 10,000 hour rule.  Essentially, the rule states that it takes 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to become a world-class master.

Gladwell quotes neurologist Daniel Levitan:
The emerging picture from such studies is that ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert — in anything. In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers [there we are], ice skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, and what have you, this number comes up again and again. Of course, this doesn’t address why some people get more out of their practice sessions than others do. But no one has found a case in which true world-class expertise was accomplished in less time. It seems that it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery.
I remember seeing this video a few months ago, but now it's being featured in an NY Times article.  Watching it, I'm once again awed by what humans are physically capable of... we just need to get out from behind our computer screens and off our couches. All it takes is practice.

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