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10,000 hours…

In his latest book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell examines the forces behind successful people. He brings up several key factors such as mental and social competence, cultural upbringing, and pure luck.

Probably the most disappointing and intriguing ingredient to success Gladwell cites is that they just work harder than others.

He even goes on to identify 10,000 hours as the magic minimum number required to reach world class expertise at any one particular subject or skill. He references everyone from Bill Gates to the Beetles – there’s no shortcuts around pure hard work.

10,000 hours works out to roughly 10 years. While there are many other factors that lead to ‘tipping points’ of success, this one is at least somewhat quantifiable. What if we as church leaders looked at our investment in others and ourselves in at least 10 year increments?

Rather than turning back after giving something a try for a year, and assuming “God’s just not in it”, maybe we really haven’t put our dues in yet?

10 years really isn’t all that much. Reality is most of us can attempt working at dreams with ten-year plans several times over within our lifespans.

What are you waiting for?

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Weewian December 22, 2008, 3:01 pm

    10 years…I believe it!

    I think that threshold of a decade applies also to relationships and churches…it takes that long to feel that comfortable in any setting. Once you hit that mark, there’s a whole other level of intimacy (either with the subject matter if we’re talking about developing knowledge/skill, or in relationships).

  • Quistian December 24, 2008, 2:53 pm

    Sounds about right and corresponds to the famous quote attributed to Edison that: Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

  • Lon December 25, 2008, 10:30 am

    Thanks for tuning in folks… so how far into your 10,000 hours to greatness are you?

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