13 Feb 2014


Recently, one of my Coachees gave me the book, “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell to read. It was such an awesome book, i must add.

In one of the chapters, Malcolm talked about what he called “The 10,000 Hour Rule”. He posited that a man becomes proficient and sell-able only when he has spent at least 10,000 hour on a CERTAIN skill, talent or job. He also alluded that this is the reason why Footballers/Sport Men & Musicians are often so good at what they do and are celebrated. The former trains about 12hrs on the field daily and the later spends a great time in the Studio rehearsing and honing his skills.

Frankly, since I read this, I have been asking myself, “in what lies my 10,000 hours?”. What takes a whole lot of my time? In fact, for a couple of days, i could not sleep well as a result of this discovery. And I realized that this piece, Lofty Heights is one, Training and Coaching are the others.

I want to believe that Malcolm’s 10,000 hour rule bothers much more on CONSISTENCY. That is to say, something may be taking a whole lot of your time, but if you are not consistent at it, it won’t count for you . You become a pro only at what you do CONSISTENTLY over a period of 10,000 hours.

May I now ask; 1) On a typical day, what takes a good chunk of your time? Driving, office work, sleeping, reading, business?
2) Having identified the above, do you do it consistently?
3) How many hours on an average do you spend on the above out of 24hours?

Let’s assume you spend QUALITY 3hours in a day on the same thing.
Where 24hrs = 1 Day and 365 Days = 1 Year. It then means that to get 10,000 hours, you’ll spend; 3hrs x 365days = 1095hrs/year.
It therefore follows that to know how many years it will take to get 10,000 hours will then be, 10,000/1095hrs = 9.13 years, ~ 9 1/2 to 10 years.

The implication of my analysis above is that, if you are for instance a Photographer and you spend at least 3hrs daily taking shots or doing anything RELEVANT to photography e.g reading books on photography, surfing the net – research, editing etc, before 10years to this time, IF you are CONSISTENT, you should have been a Professional, Well Paid and Well recognized Photographer and an authority in your field!

However, If 9 and half years from now seem like forever to you, all you need to do is to increase the number of hours you’ll spend from 3hrs to say 5hrs or more. The bottom line is that the more hours you spend, the lesser the years it will take for you to accumulate the 10,000 hours rule.

What if I work in an office, going by the fact that I spend about 10hours at work, will it count for my 10,000hours rule? You may want to ask.

I would have said yes outrightly, but it depends on 1, if you are having fulfillment at work and joy in doing what you do (many people go to work, but only few are fulfilled doing what they do) and 2, if you’ll keep arming yourself with necessary trainings, qualifications and certification at what you do. Suffice to state here that the 2 keys to fulfillment at work  or career that I preach are 1, doing what you love and 2, loving what you do. Without these two, such employee is bound in Corporate Slavery! (You may want to get the book, “Free From Corporate Slavery” by Jimi Tewe. Call 08188508056)

I see so many people trying to do different things and being many things in the process. Success does not work that way. Pick one field/industry in which you want to play or operate, and give yourself to it! Train and retrain yourself.

I believe that Footballers and Sport Men are good and celebrated so much because they spend so much time practicng and honing their skills. Same goes for Artistes.

So now my dear Reader, what constitutes your 10,000hours and how CONSISTENT have you been at it? How long or how many years will it take for you to accumulate your own 10,000hours? Calculate it now and reposition yourself! Take a clue from my analysis/calculation above.

Think over this piece and make amends in your life where necessary. Don’t be a jack of all trade and master of none or a ship without ruder! It’s high time you took your life more seriously!

Finally, whatever your hands find doing, do it with all your might.

I believe in you.

Your life will make sense!


N.B Please kindly leave your comments or thoughts in respect to this piece


Your life will make sense!