Readers have found the ideas that Gladwell raises in chapter two of Outliers quiet fascinating. In particular, they have been drawn to Gladwell’s discussion of the “10,000 hour rule,” that is, the notion that it takes about 10,000 hours of practice for a person to gain a truly remarkable mastery of a given skill. In other words, people would have to work on perfecting their skills for approximately 20 hours a week over the course of 10 years in order to acquire and display exceptional degrees of expertise.
Gladwell cites the early careers of computer whizzes Bill Joy and Bill Gates and The Beatles as examples of people who had achieved success in large part because they had achieved their 10,000 hours of practice. It’s worth noting that those who gain those 10,000 hours of practice have unique resources and vital networks of support and opportunity.
What’s a useful or creative way that we could start thinking about the 10,000 hour rule or at least something comparable in terms of an extended commitment to a field of study or talent here at SIUE? Is something comparable (hundreds of hours as opposed to ten thousand) or even possible given the demands and perhaps distractions of a general college education?
A few answers from Haley Scholars
The 10,000 hour rule for something you want to excel in could be close to impossible now. With school work & other important aspects in your life , it would be hard to commit to just one thing. In free time it would be possible , but to get to that expertise level it could take longer than expected. --T.W.
It is possible to achieve these hours if the student is committed, but as college students, there are so many things you have to prioritize. --J.C.
The examples given in the book show that most of the people who mastered their subject in their twenties started very young. If Siue students started now, they wouldn't finish until their early thirties and most people would have graduated, gotten jobs and started raising children by then. This is why i don't think 10,000 hours is realistic for most people. --J.O.
I believe that the 10,000 Hour Rule is unrealistic for me personally as a college student. There are so many things in my life that I have to put my time into. Maybe once I have my career that will be the one thing that I focus on. --R.C.
I believe the 10,000 hour rule is plausible, but only for a select group of people. --A.F.