August 27, 2009

Ten Thousand

10,000 hours...That is how long research indicates you have to do something to become good at it. Daniel Levitin says,
"In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice-skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, this number comes up again and again. Ten thousand hours is equivalent to roughly three hours a day, or 20 hours a week, of practice over 10 years… No one has yet found a case in which true world-class expertise was accomplished in less time. It seems that it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery."
This "statistic" has been rattling around inside my head for a few weeks. I have been asking, "What would I be willing to devote 10,000 hours toward in order to master it?"

But I have also been thinking...

What would my understanding of the Bible be like if I put 10,000 hours into it?

What would my prayer life look like if I were to put 10,000 hours into it?

What would my relationship with God look like if I put 10,000 hours into it?

At 1 hour per day it takes almost 28 years to reach 10,000 hours...

What do you think?

Here are a couple of articles that got me and here. They aren't religious in nature, but they brought up the 10,000 hours idea.


  1. Wow, 10,000 hours really puts it into perspective. Good questions--what would our lives be like at 10,000 with the Word?

    When you think of the great leaders of the church, many of them did spend literally hours a day reading Scripture and praying, not to mention studying and preaching.

    Life moves at such a different pace today. Is it possible to spend that kind of time doing those things today? I wonder.

  2. I'm now starting to feel silly when I say I'm not good at anything. I rarely finish any hobby I start. Definitely not even 2,000 hours. (I guess I'm good at trying new things though...)

  3. Thing is this is a modem day star. Malcolm Gladwell brought it up in his book Outliers. It holds true for prfessional athletes,compared to others...musicians compared to others. I found this a call to spend more time pursueing, but also a call to hang in there. Certainly explains the wisdom of age.

    I was talking with a friend last night...10,000 hours is also equal to 40 hours a week for about 5 years...sounds like the experience requirement for a job.

  4. Sorry...I meant to say a modern day STAT.

  5. Hmmm... I've been docketing for IP (patents and trademarks) for 6 years now and I'm pretty darn good at it.

    We'll see how valuable I am when we move. Will my law firm figure out a way to keep me working from KY or will they let me go thinking they can find someone else with my expertise?