Time and practice … the right stuff

25 November, 2008 by No Comments

Right now I’m enjoying Malcolm Gladwell‘s new book Outliers: the story of success.  Gladwell of Tipping Point and Blink fame is a writer whose theories always excite me. The conclusions he comes to are  compelling, not only because his research is meticulous, but also because of the way he crafts the outcomes of his work. He uses story-telling or narrative construction to publish his research. I am in fact listening to Gladwell read his book, rather than reading it. Gladwell has a relaxed, warm tone and his inflexions and reading skills infuse the read text with what are the author’s own, immediate emphases. I’m half way through the book as I write this.

Success is the topic of Outliers … . What I am enjoying so far are the conclusions Gladwell reaches in asking what ingredients define the rise to major success by an individual. Experience plays a huge part. The author claims that at least 10,000 hours of work or about 10 years of preparation in the chosen field is the norm for those who achieve success. Whether it’s the Beatles, lawers, software creators or classical musicians, experience in and working at the skills of the field is perhaps the key ingredient.

It’s not simply latent talent and the right background that will get you to the pinnacle, but work and a lot of it.

Food for thought when dealing with the formal education of artists and creatives.

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