10,000 is a funny number.
In most libraries across the country, you’ll find one book that focuses on that number like a hawk. That book, of course, is Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcom Gladwell.
The book describes the success of many people, from the Beatles to Bill Gates. The author attributes their success to mastery over their given craft, and posits that this mastery comes from 10,000 hours of deliberate practice; inborn talent is only allowed to grow if the person commits to practicing that skill in a deliberate way for long periods of time. This is not the only piece of the success puzzle that Gladwell posits, but it is a large one, and one that’s being debated.
What’s implied by this theory is that in order for a person to be a success, they must specialize at an extreme level. They must get really, really good at a single thing.
One of the people who’s put in their 10,000 hours is a comedian named Louis CK. He’s been in the stand-up game for quite awhile now; he has a successful sitcom, stand-up specials, and roles in Hollywood films. By any measure, he’s a great success, a seminal figure in pop culture today. Continue reading