Much of the literature says it takes 10,000 hours, over ten years, to master anything. If it takes that long how many of us are even going to start? Why bother?
What is Mastery?
This notion of 10,000 hours has been attributed to Jack Welch, former CEO of GE. In this context he was referring to developing the expertise required to become number 1 or 2 in a given field. Most of us are not aspiring to reach that in many areas we want to learn. We just want to get better.
Most of us cannot afford 10,000 hours. The good news is that if the goal is not to get to mastery but simply to get good (or better) at something 20 hours is enough for significant learning to take place, according to the RSA.org. That is a little less than 45 minutes a day for a month. What if we gave up 45 minutes of TV or non-strategic browsing every day for a month? We could learn a new personal or professional skill. We might not be masters, but we would have made great progress.
Well Nike says “Just Do It.” It can be as simple as making a commitment and letting others know. Humans have a habit of trying to remain consistent once they have made a commitment; particularly a public commitment. Dr. Robert Cialdini has explored this powerful principle Commitment and Consistency. He makes such a strong point of how we can use this, or worse – how it can be used against us, that I will look at that in a future edition. The short version is that if you commit to something (especially in writing or public) you are far more likely to follow through.
I need to get back to my harmonica. What are you going to commit to this week? How can this reduce your stress or increase your pleasure?
I am developing some new postings and products.
Will you please help me by posting on the blog or private email to email@example.com and answer the following question “What is your biggest challenge right now?”