Did you know that the famed "10,000" rule that made Bill Gates and Tiger Woods stars is apparently a myth?
Sheer determination and a lot of free time can't make you awesome (thanks for the info, Brain Picker). Blame it on Malcolm Gladwell for this urban legend (and check out this for a good laugh).
According to Daniel Goleman, best-known from the book Emotional Intelligence:
The “10,000-hour rule” — that this level of practice holds the secret to great success in any field — has become sacrosanct gospel, echoed on websites and recited as litany in high-performance workshops. The problem: it’s only half true. If you are a duffer at golf, say, and make the same mistakes every time you try a certain swing or putt, 10,000 hours of practicing that error will not improve your game. You’ll still be a duffer, albeit an older one.
No less an expert than Anders Ericsson, the Florida State University psychologist whose research on expertise spawned the 10,000-hour rule of thumb, told me, “You don’t get benefits from mechanical repetition, but by adjusting your execution over and over to get closer to your goal.”
“You have to tweak the system by pushing,” he adds, “allowing for more errors at first as you increase your limits.”Essentially, you need to spend those 10,000 hours focused on improving your weaknesses, rather than repeating the same motor skill over and over again to actually become "great."
You know what's even crazier about this rule...