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Talent = Hard Work + Luck

A funny video (via Dan Peterson) that discusses the premise of talent, deliberate practice, the 10,000 hour rule and luck.

Many see the 10,000 hour rule as justification for early specialization. The video points out the opposite truths. Even if you specialize and put in your 10,000 hours, success (i.e. college scholarship) still depends on factors outside your control (luck).

Gladwell, in an interview about the 10,000 hour rule, was asked about Dustin Hoffman, an actor who waited tables for 10 years before landing his career-defining role in The Graduate.

When asked if 10 years primarily waiting tables or doing temp jobs counts in the quest for 10,000 hours, Gladwell explains: “The question is not at what point you’re capable of doing your job. The question is at what point you’ve mastered it.”

Gladwell notes that “there is a raging debate among psychologists whether there is such a thing as innate talent. I’m on the side that says there really isn’t. If it does exist, it plays a small role. I’m much more convinced of the contribution of practice and effort to make excellence.” Before making “The Graduate,” “Dustin may not have been acting, but he was thinking about acting. He was studying. He was engaging mentally, emotionally, psychologically in the difficult art of assuming a character.”

Therefore, one does not necessarily have to engage in 10,000 hours on the basketball court. Instead, playing football, playing tag, critically watching an NBA game, etc. impacts one’s development and counts as part of the 10,000 hours.

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