"Or take the case of Bill Gates. Gladwell cites a body of research finding that the "magic number for true expertise" is 10,000 hours of practice. "Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good Gladwell writes. "It's the thing you do that makes you good." Gladwell show how Gates accumulated his 10,000 hours while in middle and high school in Seattle thanks to a series of nine incredibly fortunate opportunities ranging from the fact that his private school had a computer club with access to (and money for) a sophisticated computer, to his childhood home's proximity to the University of Washington, where he had access to an even more sophisticated computer. "By the time Gates dropped out of Harvard after his sophomore year to try his hand at his own computer company, "Glawell writes, "he'd been programming practically nonstop for seven consecutive years. He was way past 10,000 hours." Yes, Gates is obviously brilliant, Gladwell concludes, but without the lucky breaks he had as a kid, he never could have had the opportunity to fulfill the true potential of that brilliance. How many similarly brilliant people never get that opportunity?
I think it's totally relevant for our class. To break in down into chinks the kids (and we adults) can understand you could use some of these calculations:
- 10,000 hours of practice is the equivalent of practicing 24 hours straight for 417 days - more than an entire year
- If you do karate 2xweek, for 3 hours per class, that's 6 hours and week. It takes 1,667 weeks, or 32 YEARs, without even one week off, to become an "expert."
- The bottom line is that this is no joke. W have to have the desire to become experts at our craft and the dedication to put in the work necessary to achieve the goal.