I think many of you have heard of the book “Outliers” written by Malcolm Gladwell. It talks about how billionaires like Bill Gates and Bill Joy were made, why most professional hockey players were born in March or earlier months of the years, etc. The most remarkable, and most frequently referenced part of the book is that, to become an expert, one has to be trained over 10,000 hours in a specific field.

How much is 10,000 hours? If a person spend 40 hours a week(as working full time), 52 weeks a year trying to be an expert, it will take her/him about 4 years 10 months and 2 week to achieve this goal. These people are crop of the cream, best of the best in their fields.

To get there, the 10,000 hours are not only just “do stuff”. But you have to keep challenging your comfort zone. When you reach a plateau, you have to keep pushing yourself to the next level.

“OMG! This is so hard!” you might think. Yes, it is hard, but there is no other way to become a real expert. However, if you want learn something new and be good at it. Well, not an expert, but reasonably good. That might not as hard as you think.

And here’s how(I’ve skipped the intro for you, you can start from the beginning if you want):

To summarize, it takes 4 important steps:

  1. Deconstruct the skill – What are you trying to achieve? What do you need to learn to get there?
  2. Learn enough to self correct – Don’t wait until you read all the books to start practicing! Learn just enough so you know how to correct your mistake
  3. Remove practice barriers – when you learning or practicing, remove all the distractions. e.g. tv, smart phone, gaming console, etc
  4. Actually practice for 20 hours!

I hope you find it useful 🙂

Good night New York!