In his book “Outliers: The Story of Success,” Malcolm Gladwell states that to master any skill you need to practice it for 10,000 hours. There has been a lot of criticism over the years regarding this Rule. For example, just because you practice something for 10,000 hours doesn’t mean you will all the sudden be a master at hour 10,001. However, that is not the full argument. It should come as obvious that the 10,000 hours of practice needs to be intentional. Therefore, it becomes more reasonable that intentionally practicing any skill for 10,000 hours will make you a master at that skill.
Regardless of the arguments for or against the 10,000 Rule, it works because of consistency. Consistency is simple, repeat an action over and over again in regular intervals. Whether you are trying to learn a new skill, or reach a new level of success in your life, you have to work toward that goal over and over again in regular intervals.
With consistency come exposure. With exposure comes opportunities to learn and grow. You won’t learn or grow if you pick a skill that doesn’t challenge you. You have to put yourself into a situation that forces you to adapt and change. That is growth. The more you practice a new skill, the more opportunities you have to force yourself to grow. Pick your action and repeat it over and over again.
The other part of consistency requires regular intervals. It isn’t enough to repeat an action over and over again. You have to repeat that action in regular intervals. There is not secret to “regular.” Regular intervals depend almost entirely upon the desired goal. For example, if we are talking about working out, we know from experience that regular intervals means 3-4 times over a 7 day period. That’s how we get to a training schedule of Monday/Wednesday/Friday. However, that regularity will change if we trying to clean up your diet.
When you are try to achieve a goal, don’t focus on the 10,000 hours Gladwell says you need to be a master. Instead, focus today on what consistent action you can take. Consistency is everything.