10,000 Hours To Become Good At Something? Not Really.

Hey there!

You may have heard that it takes 10,000 hours to become really, really good at something…a world class expert at a particular skill. You might even have heard it from me.

But do you have that kind of time to get good at being a professional at performance? I doubt it. The good news is, it takes a tiny fraction of that time to become competent at something. But how long exactly should you set aside on your calendar? The answer will very pleasantly surprise you.

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The Outliers: https://www.vo2gogo.com/get-outliers

The First 20 Hours: https://www.vo2gogo.com/get-first20hours

Josh Kaufman’s TEDxCSU talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MgBikgcWnY

Hope this helps!


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hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
and I want to talk to you today about
this idea that I’ve labored under for a
long long time and just recently got
some better information now I love
Malcolm Gladwell as an author loved him
in his book the outliers talks about
instances in history where people are
world class best of breed champions
nobody better people like Wayne Gretzky
in hockey
people like Bill Gates in software
development all kinds of examples of
people who when you look at their life
story you realize they’ve spent 10,000
hours on average honing their craft and
so what people come away with sometimes
from those learning about those things
is oh my god
I have to spend 10,000 hours to become
good at what I’m doing so I recently saw
a TED talk and found the book from the
guy that that did this TED talk his name
is Josh Kaufman and he lets everybody
off the hook and in a great way I want
you to get this so it is 10,000 hours if
you want to have a chance at becoming
absolutely the best in the world
world-class world champions but to be
really good at something to just be
competent at something to be able to do
something doesn’t take 10,000 hours he
claims it takes 20 and that makes a lot
of sense to me when we teach people how
to do audiobooks we teach people how to
be on camera when we teach people how to
rehearse with rehearsal Pro um it
doesn’t take 10,000 hours to become able
to make a living at it or to do it on a
professional level it really does take
20 hours or so and the book is called
the first 20 hours how to learn anything
I’ve got links for it below in the below
the video so go check those out so you
20 hours to get started and to actually
accomplish the kinds of of experiences
that you need to become competent and
confident at something then it takes
nine thousand nine hundred and eighty
more hours to become world-class but
here’s the thing if you want to just do
it in 20 hours here’s four tips that
Josh has for you number one break down a
skill to its components so this is
exactly what we do in our classes we
break everything down into manageable
chunks that you can learn not everything
all at once but the individual pieces we
do the same thing in a CX master class
we don’t expect you to have everything
all squared away in the entire process
but learning little tiny steps remember
we talked about getting started and
starting with that just that one little
step and then building on that that’s
number one number two you want to learn
a lot enough to know when you’re making
a mistake
because you can get into the process and
if you haven’t kind of learned what’s
right and what’s wrong about the first
few steps you can go far down the path
and not know that you’re making a
mistake and that’s not something that
you want to have happen you want to
learn just enough to protect yourself
right number three
remove any and all barriers to
practicing now this means don’t just say
you’re going to take the class but
practice what you learn in the class
don’t just watch the lessons don’t just
listen to the the lessons that that we
do get away from things that distract
you and really concentrate on making
some iterations doing some things over
and over again so you get that muscle
memory right really concentrate on the
learning and then finally do that
practice for at least 20 hours and from
personal experience I can say you know
20 hours is an awful long time to be
able to spend with a process to learn
how to do something and to become
competent and I I agree with Josh I
think it’s it’s pretty good but here’s a
tip from me number five
if you want to become world-class then
take another nine thousand nine hundred
eighty hours or so and become really
really really good at what you’re
learning and then teach it to others and
we’re gonna talk about that in another
video how teaching to others is really
something that that really helps you
learn the best I’ve got links to the
outliers by Malcolm Gladwell the first
20 hours by Josh and Josh his name is
Josh Kaufman Josh Kaufman’s TED talk
I’ve got those links below but I want to
know from you what is it
that really stops you from learning is
it the Declaration and then not the
follow-through is that the thinking that
there’s this huge mountain you have to
climb and not wanting to even start that
journey what is it that motivates you
what is it that gets you going what does
it get you learning is it money
isn’t knowledge is it expertise and
being able to declare yourself a
professional is it the satisfaction of
learning is it this what is it tell me
what it is I’d love to know I’m David H
Lawrence the 17th if you want to
subscribe to this channel so you get
notice of what all these videos are
coming out go ahead and click on my head
if there’s a head there if not look for
the subscribe button and click on that
and if you want to see the latest video
I’ve just put out go ahead and tap there
or click there and they’ll play it for
you they do that sort of thing again I’m
David H Lawrence – 17 thank you so much
for watching and I will talk to you



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  1. 20 hours? I’m a maven!
    It’s the mountain that scares me, and it can slow me down quite a bit while I beat my head against it. But one little accomplishment, one little “aha!” gives me so much satisfaction and confidence that it hurtles me up the slope, and then I find that mountain climbing is a joy.

  2. For me, the biggest hurdle is making the time to practice and audition. Money’s a big motivator for me right now, but I always expect myself to do my best work possible so sometimes I get in my own way by convincing myself that the conditions are not ideal for that to be possible, and I procrastinate. Yesterday I made a big leap by just DECIDING to do one ACX audition, and I felt so good about it afterwards that it doesn’t even matter if I book the gig. It was just that one step forward, towards my 10,000 hours (LOL), that keeps me moving! I will do another today. I WILL!

  3. The mountain effects me as well. Sometimes I seek out distractions to stall myself. It seems that once I get going, things start to pick up as motivation slowly increases. Getting that initial momentum is sometimes the challenge.

  4. I would say my biggest barrier is, in fact, the most important part…the ACTION part. I’ll admit I have fallen victim to feeling accomplished after taking a class….but never really applying the skills I have learned. What gets me going is finding some fun and juicy story to tell!!