First read this http://bit.ly/MakingExperts
Second, remember Malcolm Gladwells crucial point in the ‘outliers’ it takes 10,000 hours to achieve mastery in your field.
Combine the two, and what you get is this – not just any 10,000 hours, but 10,000 hours of deliberate practice with an expert as mentor.
Now add in the time factor and the importance of being future oriented and I now understand why I am not an expert in any field.
I did not have experts, role models or mentors provide guidance for most of my life, Strike 1. I have yet to put 10,000 hours of deliberate practice into anything I love doing, Strike 2. I have only since developed a more future oriented outlook on my life, it would have been better if I had had that outlook when I was a kid, Strike 3.
So does this mean that at age 30 it is unlikely I will be an expert in my choosen field? as always the answer is it depends.
In a crowded field, yes. In a field where physicalilty becomes the dominate factor, yes – this rules out most sports ( I can forget about being an NBA player). In a not so crowded field it is still possible to make my mark and break into the top 4%, but I will need to be willing to put in 3 hours everyday for the next ten years of deliberate practice and also have a mentor/expert willing to guide me through the challanges.
If my aim is to break into the top 4% of my field and find acceptance of the ‘inner ring’ as C.S Lewis would say, I would increase my chances of doing so by having all the aforementioned ingredients of becoming an expert.
This new revelation has now forced me to reconsider my own goals in life.