The Washington Post:
Practice makes perfect. It’s a mantra we hear all our lives, from simple refrains in kindergarten to the more nuanced versions that populate self-help books. It’s everywhere at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio, as athletes credit the long hours they spent working with coaches and trainers for their success. It leads us to believe there’s a chance that each of us could be an Olympian, a concert pianist, or an expert computer programmer — if only we put the work in.
In popular culture, this idea was probably best publicized as Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000-hour rule,” which says that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at any skill.
That rule was in turn loosely based on a 1993 study of accomplished violinists in Berlin, which found that the most accomplished students had spent 10,000 hours practicing by the time they were 20 — far more hours than the less accomplished students had spent practicing. Gladwell estimated that the Beatles and Bill Gates had also put in 10,000 hours of practice fiddling with guitars and computers, respectively, by the time they went big.
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