An idea developed by psychologist Anders Ericsson is that 10,000 hours of practice can make any person an expert in any field they practice in.
Doing the math and assuming a person would be practicing 24/7, it would take 417 days or 1.1 years to become an expert in whatever they choose. In a real-world situation where a dedicated person trained 5 days a week for 8 hours a day, it would take a person 1,250 days or 3.4 years to become an expert in whatever they choose.
Now these numbers aren’t fact, they can vary depending on multiple factors such as age, natural talents, previous experience and even how a person is practicing. The point to be made here is that yes, under an uncertain time frame, any person can become an expert in whatever they want as long as they are willing to make the sacrifice. By sacrifice I mean two things specifically:
- Sacrifice of Time – To become an expert at anything we need to put in the time. We need to set aside time to train and practice the skills we wish to become experts in. This can be stretched over a broad number of different scenarios, for example:
- We may have to shift around plans to hang out with friends.
- We may have to shift around when we see our families.
- We may have to shift around when we work to make money.
- Sacrifice of Body – To become and expert at anything we need to sacrifice our bodies. Now this can stretch across a wide range depending on what you are striving to become successful at. For example:
- We may want to become an athlete, so we must train our bodies physically.
- We may want to become a scientist, so we must train our minds analytically.
- We may want to become a musician, so we must train our ears musically.
So long as we are willing to sacrifice our time/body, humans can accomplish anything they wish. It just takes hard work and dedication to make the achievement of becoming an expert. Sometimes it may become frustrating to continue but that’s what growth is all about.
Persist through difficulties, that’s how we grow and develop as humans. If you want something, set a plan on how you are to achieve it and work hard until you see it become real. Anything in life is achievable if you are willing to put in the work.