03 June 2009

10,000 hours

I've been reading This Is Your Brain On Music by Daniel Levitin. At one point the author discusses studies about how long it takes to reach "expert level" at something. An expert here is defined as "someone who has reached a high degree of accomplishment relative to other people." According to Levitin,

The emerging picture from such studies is that ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert -- in anything. ... Ten thousand hours is equivalent to three hours a day, or 20 hours a week, of practice over ten years... It seems that it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery.
pp 196-197.

For some reason, I find this totally inspiring. So mastery is possible... all I have to do is put in about 9,000 more hours.

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