The 1000 Hour Rule – by James Altucher

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Crazy or genius? Well, writer/thinker/speaker James Altucher has them both covered in an entertaining way. This is his take on Malcolm Gladwell’s famous 10 000 hour rule. I like it so I quote it in part below and link to his full post here.

THE 1000 HOUR RULE (note: this is NOT the 10,000 hour rule. One less zero).

Everybody knows the 10,000 HOUR RULE. The one popularized by Malcolm Gladwell that basically says if you do dedicated practice for 10,000 hours you can master a field. You can reach your full potential or close to it.

He used the Beatles as an example. They spent 10,000 hours playing music 18 hours a day in German porn clubs for five years and became the best in the world.

It makes sense. If you practice painting water colors for 10,000 hours you will be among the best in the world at water color painting.

Here’s the problem: We don’t just have one passion or love in life. The universe wants us to have fun doing more than one thing in life. That’s how it learns. You don’t have one purpose in life. You have maybe 500 or so.

And 10,000 hours is a lot of time. It’s anywhere from 5-30 years of your life. And then you die. And what do you show for it? That you’re great at watercolor painting. Not everyone is going to be the Beatles. That involves some luck also.

So I prefer the 1000 hour rule.

If you practice ANYTHING for one thousand hours and make sure it’s dedicated practice then you will STILL be among the best in the world.

How come? Because with anything worth learning there is a steep learning curve. In the first 1000 hours your ability goes straight up. Then it starts to even out as you learn more of the subtleties required to be among the best.

Here’s the thing: NOBODY GIVES A SHIT.

Since only the best in the world can really appreciate the subtleties and 99.9999% of the world can’t tell the difference between somebody who has studied for 1000 hours versus someone who has studied for 10,000 hours then you can appear to be the best in the world and get much of the benefits of it by just putting in 1000 hours of dedicated practice.

In fact, if you get good at learning new things, then you can even take another zero off. The 100 hour rule. Or maybe 200 hours. This makes life a LOT better and more fun. You can take that zero off after you get really good at the first thing.

Because then you have learned how to learn. So that saves a lot of energy on the next thing you learn.

Phew! This one rule has saved me decades of time. I can’t be the world champion at chess but I can be a chess master. I can’t be a billionaire but I can perhaps learn enough about a field to make a real contribution to society.

And I can do it more than once. In fact, I can do it every year of my life and learn many things.

Thank god for the 1000 hour rule. (or the 100 hour rule).”

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Jonas

Jonas: Writer. Talker. Thinker. Wine drinker. Brand builder. Tennis player. Family guy.

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