Imagine what it would be like to commit 10,000 hours of your life to doing something! To give you some perspective on that idea, one full year has 8760 hours of which you probably sleep about a third. So 10,000 hours represents around one year and eight months of all your ‘waking’ hours or three years and four months of all your ‘working’ hours (based on eight hours per day).
What aspect of your life would you be prepared to commit that much time to? Is there anything you are truly that passionate about?
This is not just a random number that I have plucked from the sky – it is science. One of the greatest business thinkers of modern times, Malcolm Gladwell, talks about the power of 10,000 hours in his book ‘Outliers’. In the book, he demonstrates that the key to being successful in any activity is to be prepared to work at it for at least 10,000 hours. Whether you do this by using every waking hour, forgoing some of your sleep time, or by simply working diligently for eight hours a day; Gladwell claims that is what it takes to become an expert!
If that makes you think, ‘Wow – what a long time’ then perhaps you are not that passionate about the thing you are thinking about? If, however, the prospect excites and enthuses you then there is a very good chance that you will be successful in its pursuit. You see, passion is the difference between ‘working for a living’ and ‘living an enjoyable and rewarding working life’.
It’s not all about the money!
Yes, you did read that right! And yes, I am still an accountant! I genuinely believe that, if you don’t enjoy what you are doing then you should seriously consider doing something else. Even if it does result in a lower financial remuneration! The reality is that by doing something you really love, you are likely to excel and open up the possibilities of earning more in the end anyway.
I think it was Confucius who said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” and he knew a thing or two about what motivates people.
The big challenge is actually making the change!
If you haven’t read Malcolm Gladwell’s book, then the 10,000 Hour Rule might be a fresh concept. The Confucius quote and the idea that doing what you love is easier than what you hate, probably isn’t news to you, though! So, my question (or my challenge) to you today is: What are you going to do about it?
This is not just another ‘positive mindset’ post or a ‘rah-rah’ rant – it is a serious question that you should ask yourself. Do you work better, achieve more, get better results when you are doing things that you enjoy? The answer simply has to be YES! So, why not change something today, do something more enjoyable, and be more successful?
What will you spend the next 10,000 hours of your life doing?