What does it take to be a success? Talent? Skill? Luck? Some might add education and training to the list. Others may argue the formula is more complex. Or, simple. Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours. He wrote the best seller Outliers: The Story of Success:
Gladwell repeatedly mentions the “10,000-Hour Rule”, claiming that the key to achieving world-class expertise in any skill, is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing the correct way, for a total of around 10,000 hours…
Practice makes perfect?
If you want to win at golf, you have to hit a lot of golf balls.
That makes sense, of course, but there are other elements at play; including talent and training to hone a skill, and, yes, luck.
I was never the most talented, I was never the biggest, I was never the fastest, I certainly was never the strongest. The only thing I had was my work ethic
Woods may have thought that a lot of work was the only element of his success but talent and opportunity may be required, too. What else?
No matter how good you get you can always get better… the greatest thing about tomorrow is I will be better than I am today
How’s that worked out since the divorce?
From a young age my talent was writing; simple, straightforward, unambiguous writing that tended to flow at a speed somewhere between thinking and typing. It has served me well through the years and though I know I have written for far more than 10,000 hours, the ability to do so did not arrive after 10,000 hours of trying.
If you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires.
How about ‘May shape the world?’
It may also be that the definition of success extends well beyond riches and fame. We may not be able, despite 10,000 hours of effort, to shape the world to our desires, but we can enjoy a good life with the talents we have, the skills we learned, and the luck that comes our way.
Good writing does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.