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PRODUCT.|PHILOSOPHY.|LIFE.

10,000 hours



Malcolm Gladwell is famous for his '10,000 hours' theory in his book, Outliers.

In order to be successful at your workplace, at sports, at writing, or at anything else, you're often told that you need to put in 10,000 hours, paying your dues. Its not an exact number, of course, but unless you put in a significant amount of effort at getting good, you will not get good. There are no shortcuts. There is no get-rich get-famous overnight formula.

Of late, I see too many people taking this advice at face value. The effort needed to get in and get through a good college is seen as the 10,000 hours that need to be put in to get a high-paying job. As an intern, the effort needed to complete all the tasks assigned, along with coming first to office and leaving last, is seen as the 10,000 hours that need to be put in to convert the internship into a job offer.

When you take the advice at face value, you are not following the advice at all. We all put in our 10,000 hours in something or another. But are we all masters at those things?

10,000 hours is not a checklist item that needs to be ticked off. If you treat it that way, you had better gear up for disappointment as the end product you had in mind while ticking it off will fail to materialize. By treating it as a checklist item, you will keep facing newer 10,000 hours that need to be checked off to reach the next step of the ladder.

10,000 hours is not a checklist item that needs to be ticked off. It is a way of life that you need to embrace. I'm very fond of Morpheus's line in Matrix, 'If you ask, you're not ready to know.' I see this being applicable everywhere in life. The adaptation for this would be 'If you're counting the 10,000 hours you're putting in, you're not counting beyond zero.'

10,000 hours is not a chore. Unless you enjoy those hours that you're putting in, you're not making any progress.

Do you want to lead a life where you're perpetually ticking things off a checklist?

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