What Is The 10.000-Hour Rule?

In this writing, we will talk about the rule which is called 10.000-hour. It has been a experimental research since the ’70’s but it became more popular when Malcolm Gladwell wrote about it in his book Outliers: The Story of Success. 

Malcolm Gladwell showed that people who were performing at a master level, such as musicians, artists, etc. had practiced for approximately 10.000 hours up to that point. Accordingly, if someone want to become a world-class, all s/he has to do is to also practice for 10.000 hours. Basically, the rule says that it takes at least 10.000 hours to master a subject. 

The Main Rule

If you want to be successful, you must study hard. Bill Gates and The Beatles were cited as examples in the book. When Bill Gates was in the high school, he went to the University of Washington, which was near his home and had an uncommon computer lab at the time, and worked programming in there before founding Microsoft. The book, which also refers to The Beatles’ Hamburg time, mentions the period when they played there for 8 hours without time-break, and both based on their success on this work. They both put 10.000 hours in their life. 

The Work Should Be 10.000 Hours In Total

The experience that you gain by working and practicing on the subject should be 10.000 hours in total, so that you can master that subject and get to know everything possible and can continue on your way with more appropriate decisions. This will bring you success in the end, it is the most important point of the 10.000-hour rule. 

The 10.000-Hour Rule Is A Thesis

The 10.000-hour rule is an actually thesis and there are so many hypotheses about it. After the 10.000-hour rule has attracted so much attention, discussions and research began on this rule. Doing practice, according to the research result in 2014; 

  • 26% difference in games
  • 21% difference in music
  • 18% difference in sports
  • 4%   difference in education
  • Only 1% difference in professions

The researchers found that practice accounted for just a 12% difference in performance in various domains.

Is The Rule Wrong?

We have all heard that age-old saying, right? Practice is everything and makes legendary. The rule tells us that 10.000 hours of practice is enough to be successful. Is this really true? Malcom Gladwell gives several examples in the book which is called Outliers: The Story Of Success what is largely based on the research by Anders Ericsson. Let us examine one of the examples. Anders Ericsson, psychologist prefers 10.000-experiment rule instead of the 10.000-hour rule. Because, he thinks that the number 10.000 is absolutely meaningless.

He says;

“When the human body is put under exceptional strain during deliberate practice, a range of dormant genes in the DNA of any healthy individual are expressed and extraordinary physiological processes are activated. The benefit of this type of practice is available to anyone who wants to improve their performance.”

In the Brain’s Idea magazine, it writes;

“In other words, the 10,000-hour rule is nonsense. Stop believing it. Of course, practice is important. But other factors (Age, Intelligence, Ability, etc.) seem to play a bigger role.” 

As a result, what you need to be the best in a field is a motivation beyond your ability to take action for the planned practice process. Believe or not, just make sure working hard.

What Other Factors Are Important To Be Successful?

Experience and the practice maintains its importance both in theory and practice. But the main question is what other factors are important to be successful? 

According to the author Malcolm Gladwell, success is affiliated to opportunity and as we mentioned, it takes 10.000 hours to achieve mastery. Besides, success not only depends on intelligence but also on what you do for it. 

In summary, the lessons that you can retrieve from the book and the rule, can be condensed into one sentence: Success depends on an array of cultural and other factors that we physically cannot control however, the only thing you can control about success is how much effort and time you put in. This is the key to success.


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