Friday, August 26, 2011

10,000 hour challenge

I have been reading the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. It is a great book that discusses success: how we measure it, how it is obtained, and the conditions in which it thrives. The second chapter is titled: The 10,000 hour rule and states that people who have become proficient in a skill or activity have dedicated over 10,000 hours to its development. He provides several examples to illustrate his point.

This rule has made me wonder--if I had 10,000 hours to dedicate to something, what would I develop? In the book, Gladwell estimates that it takes people approximately 10 years to become truly proficient at something (equitable to 10,000 hours). I wanted to know exactly how long 10,000 hours really was. If I work continuously, I would have to work non-stop for one year and 52 days.

Also, it made me wonder--what skill would I want to develop. So, in answer to this challenge and in celebration of my birthday, I have decided to log in 10,000 hours to become the best paper artist that I can be. I struggled with this decision because I didn't know if I wanted to dedicate myself solely to make books, or boxes, or paper art. I decided to develop all of the skills associated with paper arts.

I hope to share with you the results of my quest by posting projects that I have completed or are in the making but also explaining and logging my hours until I reach my 10,000 hours.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Hi Dr. Russ,
Just wanted to say I'm trying to turn my crafting into a business and when I tried to think of people whom I know have succeeded in doing so - even if not full-time - you came to mind in the first round! I like the idea of this 10,000 hour ledger too; I'm kind of bad at keeping track of how much time I spend on things, but if it had an *additional* purpose maybe that would make it easier.

So anyway, I am just saying hi and hoping my crochet monsters and wooden fairy houses take off the way your boxes and books seem to have, though I have to start actually advertising them first. Best wishes in everything!
- fellow academic
- Iron Craft yen twin