In his popular book “Outliers” , Malcolm Gladwell wrote that 10,000 hours was the magic number for greatness. He writes about musicians reaching that 10,000 hour or practice and performance level and achieving near perfect results. As you know, the fathers and children of Strengths-Based Psychology say that investing in your natural talents turns them into strengths which are defined as the ability to perform with near perfect consistency. It would take approximately 8-10 hours a day for 3 years of practice to reach 10,000 hours.
The best investment of time you can make every day is to intentionally practice your natural talents to turn them into strengths!
Recently, there has been talk and articles written about how Gladwell’s statement was wrong. I agree that mindless repetition of a task does not guarantee near perfect, consistent performance. As a classically trained pianist, I am not sure I put in my 10,000 hours by the time I completed my Masters of Music @ Indiana University, now named the Jacobs School of Music. I wasn’t perfect or consistent; I probably reached the 7,000 hour mark.
One thing that has held me back in the past has been the nature of my thoughts and feelings. I clearly create anxiety in my life when I play out many positive or negative scenarios in the future. According to author, Joe Dispenza in his book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself:
“It is not enough to “think positive,” because most of who we are might reside subconsciously as negativity in the body. When our behaviors match our intentions, when our actions are equal to our thoughts, when our minds and our bodies are working together, when our words and our deeds are aligned……there is immense power behind any individual.”
Recently, I play two public performances where I specifically created a vision or a picture that related to my thoughts and feelings of success for the presentation. Both performances exceeded the positive aspects of my vision and expectations. Not only did I perform at a high level (because I put in the hours of practice) but I supported and “willed” my collaborators to perform beyond their own expectations because of my thoughts and feelings about the performance!
This is what I do for my coaching clients as well. As a part of a coaching process called Breakthrough Laser Coaching, we validate the existing thoughts, feelings and actions then create new thoughts, feelings and actions to manifest new experiences and success. Having a coach that knows your natural talents and helps you create and remember your new thoughts, feelings and actions maximizes your opportunities for success! Each one of my clients has exceeded their own expectations, gotten the job they wanted, found work that matched their strengths and resonated with their vision for the future.
I don’t think the answer is just 10,000 hours. I think it is 10,000 hours of intentional investment in your natural talents combined with an attitude and openness to receive the gift of success.
Don’t just practice “anything” for 10,000 hours; make it the best investment of your life!