The 10,000 Hour Rule-Becoming A Perfectionist

Malcolm Gladwell was a Canadian Journalist who originated the 10,000 hour rule. The 10,000 hour rule, if you are unfamiliar, suggests that for whatever it is you do 10,000 hours of practice will make you “perfect” at that skill. This pertains to sports, musicians, businessmen, and any activity or skill for that matter. When I say any activity it is within reason, a naturally terrible singer can not transform into Justin Bieber with 10,000 hours of practice. With this said that poor singer, after 10,000 hours of practice, could still possible become the best signer he physically/mentally was capable of(even if that still means they are a horrible singer). Malcolm Gladwell credits the 10,000 hour rule as the catalyst to success for Bill Gates, and the Beatles. Gladwell presents the Beatles practice in bars and Bill Gates exposure to computers since a young age as an example of their 10,000 hours. 10.000 hours of practice would roughly equate to 20 hours of practice for ten years.

Princeton Skeptics

A Princeton study discredits Malcolm’s 10,000 hour rule. The study suggests practice is only responsible for around 12% of an individuals performance. For different categories there are different results: for games practice made 26% difference, in music practice made a 21% difference, sports 18%, and education 4%. The parameters and control points of this study are unsure and are potentially liable to de-credit the study. I understand the point Princeton is trying to make, which I believe is similar to the point I brought forth earlier. A terrible singer can not become Justin Beiber with 10,000 hours of practice. A non-athlete can not become Usain Bolt. With that said the terrible signer, or non-athlete, could be the best they could possibly be. This is what makes the 10,000 rule so intriguing to me.

My thoughts? There is merit to the 10,000 hour rule

I agree that practice can not make someone the best, or technically “perfect” at something they are naturally bad at. On the same token I believe it can make anyone as perfect as they can be at a given activity. Do you follow me? Although extensive practice may not make you the absolute best, or top class, at whatever it is you do; it can make you the best you can be.

Implement the 10,000 hour rule accordingly

If you implement the 10,000 hour rule appropriately in your life, I think you will see a major change. I have been writing for 4 years in college. I have written hundreds of essays and academic papers. I am no professional, but I can write relatively sound, coherent articles in a short time span. If I keep writing, and keep learning, I can be the best I can be in 10,000 hours. Are you a teacher, a salesperson, a mechanic? Whatever it is you do, or want to do better, just do more of it. This sounds rudimentary but it is so true. Want to be a better teacher? Offer tutoring during the summer. You will earn extra money and further refine your ability to teach. You get the point, one of the best ways to improve at something is to do more of it. You can read and learn about something all you want but nothing equates to real time practice.


I’m not conveying there is a real science to the 10,000 hour rule. I am unsure if it is 10,000 hours, 5,000 hours, or 20,000 hours that makes you as perfect as you can be at something. I am saying the more you do something the better you will get, and you will progress until you reach your pinnacle. In theory I do believe this rule holds major merit and I believe it is something to be mindful of if you enjoy bettering yourself. What do you think? Be sure to check out my other posts. I appreciate anyone who clicks my affiliate links to Amazon. Thanks!

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out my website and my other articles, I’m sure there is something you’ll find interesting. Also, in support of my website, please click my colored box links throughout the posts next time you need to place an Amazon order. These are my Amazon Affiliate links and proceeds go to the further development of this website. Thanks!

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