Category Archives: Read

10,000 Hours = “Genius”

This is like an echo of what Malcolm Gladwell wrote in his book, Outliers.  As I pointed out in an earlier post, Gladwell gave, as examples, Bill Gates, Bill Joy and the Beatles and how they put in 10,000 hours to succeed in what they do.

To quote part of this article by David Brooks in The NY Times:

It’s not I.Q., a generally bad predictor of success, even in realms like chess. Instead, it’s deliberate practice. Top performers spend more hours (many more hours) rigorously practicing their craft.

He also cites two books which I hope to read in the future: Daniel Coyle’s “The Talent Code” and Geoff Colvin’s “Talent Is Overrated”.  I read a review of the latter book in one issue of Fortune magazine last year.  Colvin wrote that what makes Tiger Woods a huge success is not innate talent but deliberate practice (and, according to Brooks,  a father intent on improving his skills).  He reportedly would put a golf ball in a sandtrap and practice from that spot for hours.

Brooks conclude this short article with this …

Public discussion is smitten by genetics and what we’re “hard-wired” to do. And it’s true that genes place a leash on our capacities. But the brain is also phenomenally plastic. We construct ourselves through behavior. As Coyle observes, it’s not who you are, it’s what you do.

So the first order of the day is to muster enough discipline to start the first hour towards building up to 10,000 hours.

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Notes from Outliers, Part 1

I’m so amazed by the theories of Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers so I’ve decided to journalize the points I think will help me (and others, hopefully) achieve what I want to do.  Truly, this book has changed in many many ways what I think about success and how people succeed.

The following paragraph best explains what this book is all about …

People don’t rise from nothing.  We do owe something to parentage and patronage.  The people who stand before kings may look like they did it all by themselves.  But in fact they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot.  It makes a difference where and when we grew up.  The culture we belong to and the legacies passed down by our forebears shape the patterns of our achievement in ways we cannot begin to imagine.  It’s not enough to ask what successful people are like, in other words.  It is only by asking where they are from that we can unravel the logic behind who succeeds and who doesn’t.

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