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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The 10,000-Hour Rule

There is no doubt that each of us have heard of ‘Practice makes better.’ In fact I often said that to my girls. There are certain things in our lives, aside from using our brains, we need to spend a lot of  time to practice. Be in the math, computer programming, or singing or dancing or playing sports and … You got the point!
What I found most intriguing is the rule of 10,000 hours! Somehow what set the success individuals apart from the rest of the world, is the Ten Thousand Hours Rule!

If you have read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, you know exactly what I am talking about. If you haven’t, don’t worry … I will fill you in. –And trust me :-)
I am going to take you on a journey to visit three icons that are quite different in some ways but yet they all share one thing in common. –The Ten Thousand Hours…

Courtesy of

First, let’s visit Bill Joy, the cofounder of Sun Microsystems, and the person who wrote the Unix code that is still being used even now. It was all started with his times in Michigan where he first set foot in the campus in the fall of 1971. Just a year after the university decided to upgrade their computers to time-share systems where they could handle more than 100 students using the main frame at a time.

 It would have been different story the year before where the students would have to wait in line for the computer to free up before they could use it. As of his guardian angel was with him to grant his wish to spend more time in front of those computers,  someone had found a bug in the system that would allow them to spend unlimited time in the lab without being kicked out. –After quick calculation, he said, “So, so maybe … ten thousand hours?” he said, finally. “That’s about right.”

Next let’s visit The Beatles –John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. Before their records hit the top list. They spent innumerable of hours practicing in Hamburg Strip Club called The Indra. Why? ---Again, the 10,000 hours!
Then you have Bill Gates, who have spent his childhood (since 8 years old) attending a private school, Lakeside, where it was the only school at that time that had enough money to buy the time-shared computer. Gates and his friends taught themselves how to program and before they know it! –Get the idea now? He spent about 10,000 hours behind the computers.

There is no doubt that those individuals are very talented and intelligent. According to Gladwell, “But what truly distinguishes their histories is not their extraordinary talent but their extraordinary opportunities.”

Joy was lucky enough to attend the Michigan where they just converted their computer lab to the latest a year before and someone found a bug in the system which enable them to use the lab unlimited time. The Beatles was invited to play countless hours at the Hamburg. Gates’ incredible good fortune to be at Lakeside in 1968.

“All the outliers –referring to Gates, Beatles and Joy, we’ve looked at so far were the beneficiaries of some kind of unusual opportunity. Lucky breaks don’t seem like the exception with software billionaires and rock bands and star athletes. They seem like the rule.”

What do you think about the 10,000 rule? Yay? Nay?

If you enjoy my blogs, would you come 'Like' me on my FB fan page: --Thank you!

Until next stop,
Journey of Life


  1. love the new header!!!

    10,000 hours? Too many to think about :)

    1. Thank you Hilary! Did you spend 10,000 to reach where you are today?

    2. Oh man.... when you put it this way.... I saw this reply yesterday at work, on my phone, and I did the math, and realized 10000 hours isn't much...I have put more than double it in my current company getting to my current role...what perspective!

    3. Isn't interesting? It also inspired if I need to get somewhere, I better start putting my hours provided an opportunity presented ...

  2. 10,000 hours? Better get busy!

  3. I enjoyed your article. i think practice is a key to many people's success. I am thinking of all those hours and it hurts..ha ha ha.

    1. It is a lot of hours to spend in your life! But then the reward is amazing, right? --I guess no pain no gain ... And Indeed it hurts!