10,000 hours to Mastery

14 Nov

Comic Strip on EffortI didn’t pluck the 10,000 hours figure from thin air. The number is actually from a book titled “Outliers: The Story of Success”, written by Malcolm Gladwell. Well, I didn’t complete the book because it is not exactly easy to read for my standards. But that one concept did resonate with me.

Looking back to my previous job as an example, I would say that the 10,000 hours rule is a pretty good rule of thumb to achieving some form of results in something. In the first 3 years of my previous job, there were so many things that I don’t know. It was only through practice day after day for those 3 years and learning through my mistakes that I managed to become better. And at the end of the 4th year, I even took on a coaching kind of role to help others through that steep learning curve I faced when I started on the job.

And the same 10,000 hours rule holds true to why I failed in certain areas. One instance would be learning the piano. I could never put in the hours to practise the same song over and over again. Because I didn’t put in the full hours and effort, the Universe simply couldn’t reward me in return. Till date, I still add my own spin to the music pieces, making them unrecognisable from the original pieces. I would want to call it artistry but my brothers think I’m creating noise when I play the piano.

So, applying the 10,000 hours rule to my doodling, this means it may take 1,000 days or 33 months or 2.7 years before I see any form of results from my doodles, and this is provided that I set aside 10 hours of doodle time each day. It’s daunting, I know! But I suppose there is no easy way to this. If anyone has a better way to do it, I’m all ears!

On the positive side, I only have 31 more months to go! *Gulp*

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9 Responses to “10,000 hours to Mastery”

  1. yourothermotherhere November 14, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    Do ya think that rule applies to sex? LOL!

    • rusty November 14, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

      I’m not too sure. Some one’s need to test on this one and let us know. 🙂

      • yourothermotherhere November 15, 2012 at 1:51 am #

        Funny, funny answer!!! I’ll have to email that one to my sisters!

      • rusty November 15, 2012 at 7:35 am #

        That will be awesome! 🙂

  2. ruleofstupid November 14, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

    I’m confused. Your doodles are already fine. I’ve always thought the key is the humor. Crap drawings with funny captions are good, brilliant art that’s not funny (when meant to be – obviously!) is bad. What is it you are practising?

    • rusty November 14, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

      Good question! By thinking about this question, it makes me clearer too on what I’m trying to practise too!

      The things that I would be practising and working on are:
      1) Getting the punchlines and flow right.
      2) Telling a punchline in just 1 frame instead of through a comic strip.
      3) More movement in the doodles.The characters are rather stiff.
      4) Character and story development.
      5) Overall speed of doodling.

  3. myspokenheart November 17, 2012 at 3:13 am #

    I am thinking about this 10,000 hour thing… and I can see the point that, well to be cliche practice makes perfect, however I think there is a flaw in this thinking… I don’t care if one puts in 100,000 hours, if the talent isn’t there is it going to help? for example all the practice in the world can’t make a singer out some-one who is completely tone deaf…

    Also there is a difference between mastering technique and having that special quality… or as it has been coined the ‘X Factor’ (I call it presence)… (try watching dancers for example, some of them just have that little something extra that makes them standout from the rest – yet all of them practice and pour their hearts and souls into what they do… or like your example of piano, some can play a piece note for note, perfect technique but when you close your eyes and listen it just feels like something is missing)

    Please do not think that I am saying if some-one has talent they do not need to practice and hone in on their skills… There is always room for improvement, there is always something to learn, I am just saying in some cases it is like beating a dead dog… pointless…

    PS I like your drawings/cartoons… 🙂

    • rusty November 17, 2012 at 9:15 am #

      Haha, you are totally right on this point! It’s mentioned in the book that the number of hours is one of the factors that differentiates the best and the good among all those with talent. I’ve conveniently ignored that I need talent as the baseline. Oops.

      Thank you for writing this comment to clarify this for readers on this blog! I hope I didn’t misled any readers to join X-factor or some Idol competition. But if anyone of you do get misled by me into joining and even getting featured on TV, do send me the YouTube video! I would love to see them!

      • myspokenheart November 17, 2012 at 11:12 am #

        cheeky aren’t you… 😉

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