Busting Gladwell’s 10000 Hours Rule Myths: How to Master a Skill?

We’ve all heard about the famous 10000 hours rule and perhaps used it in our lives to achieve success in our desired fields.

However, is the 10000 hours rule really exists or is it just a myth? 

Is the 10000 hours rule, actually going to make us master a particular skill, or is it a mere belief?

What is 10000 Hours Rule?

Malcolm Gladwell in his Book Outliers: The Story Of Success introduces the 10000 hours rule according to which if you wish to master any skill, all you have to do is put in 10,000 hours of practice and become an expert in any possible field.

Seems pretty easy, isn’t it? So that means you could choose just anything and practice it for that amount of time to succeed in it and you’ll be good to go. 

The 10000 Hours Rule: A Myth Or A Reality ?

On precise research, we come to know that the 10,000-hour rule is not based on some solid science. It is just a general observation that was made by Gladwell when he observes the violin students at Berlin. 

Practically this rule has failed to help many in achieving their goals. Primary because it’s not a mere factor of some rule of 10,000 hours. 

10000 Hours Rule

If you think that by spending 4 hours daily and 10,000 hours in total you will be able to master a skill, chances are quite high that you might not.

Then What’s The Best Way to Succeed in Your Field? 

You will succeed if you strike out a balance between various methods. Focusing upon working for 10,000 hours won’t bring you success until you give importance to other factors like concentration, passion, and method of carrying out a task.

Then How to Master Any Skill?

For example, you are trying to learn a manual car. At first, you learn the method of starting a car and the process of pressing the clutch before changing the gear. 

Once you’ve gotten a hang of the method you know the technique required to drive.

Now that you drive you’ll notice the flaws in your driving, maybe you’re not driving straight or maybe you’re driving slow, once you recognize your mistakes you tend to work on driving straight and at a good speed.

You practice until you reach perfection in driving. At this time if your interest develops you tend to practice more and hence put in more concentration and effort. 

10000 Hours Rule

However, if your interest declines you’ll end up leaving it. You’ll be irritated and will forget the little you knew about driving since you won’t find the passion and zest to practice more. 

Those who gain interest and keep practicing until they reach the ultimate level of perfection end up mastering the skill of driving and so time duration which may be 300 hours or 500 hours comes out as a by-product once they’ve achieved the skill. 

Therefore, it is more important to focus on the technique while you are acquiring a new skill rather than just only time. No doubt time is a very significant substance since if one does not practice for a couple of days he/she won’t be able to master it at any cost. But, time is a “part of the process” to mastery, it is not the “process”.

 Master Any Skill By Using These Measures:

1. A Correct Technique for Learning Used

  • Whatever activity you wish to succeed in you must know the proper method, way, or process required to carry it out. If you make mistake in this step your whole goal will become next to impossible. Make sure you research well on the method and acquire it before you move further.
  •   For example, if you want to master watercolor painting you must know the proper way to hold the brush which provides you the best stroke.

2. Recognizing Mistakes and Starting Working on Them 

  • It is very important to take reviews, guidance, or become your mentor to teach yourself the corrections. Once you know the mistake, you’ll work hard enough to correct them, attain perfection and keep on analyzing them.
  • For example, if you feel that you’re overusing water while creating water artwork you will have to minimize its content.

Also, Read Mental Benefits of Yoga

3. Practicing Until Achieved Perfection 

  • Practice certainly makes a man perfect. You shall remember the fact that you’re halfway through the process to achieve mastery. All you now need is practice, practice, and tons of practice. If you skip this step then even if you learn 50% of your skill, you will certainly forget it. Now, All you need is practice since your direction is correct.
  • For instance, The more you practice brush strokes the prettier finish they will provide on the paper and the more beautiful your painting will become.
10000 Hours Rule

4. Investing Energy, Focus, and Full Concentration

  • You need to invest energy, focus, and full concentration on the task to make your brain form new neural connections and change its plasticity to accommodate the new skills being learned. Your dedication and determination are now needed while you’re practicing. Do it with passion and love. You shall give your 100% to this skill to succeed in it.
  • Like you must have an interest and passion for painting in order to succeed in it, because only then will you be able to put your best in art.

5. Time Duration Invested is a By-Product of Practicing Regularly to Gain Perfection.

  • Once you’ve attained mastery in any field that you had chosen you will realize that it took you days, hours, and months of practice. But not necessarily 10,000 hours of practice as mentioned in 10000 hours rule. You might be way better than someone who practices for 10,000 hours without the proper technique and passion.
  •  For instance, you might end up creating a watercolour masterpiece after a month of regular practice.

So time duration is certainly necessary for achieving mastery but like it was said before, time is a “part of the process” to mastery, it is not the “process”. 

You will definitely be able to succeed once you make efforts with dedication, honesty, and passion. No one can then stop you from becoming a guru of it. 

Hence, make sure you keep the above points in mind as you hustle around to achieve your dream skill, with this way you can master any field, and achieve all your dreams.

Written By: Nehal Sharma

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