Archive for March 2012

Why I called my website

Cover of "Talent Is Overrated: What Reall...

Cover via Amazon

I chose to name this website (short for “10,000 hours of talent”) after being inspired by the book “Talent Is Overrated” by Geoff Colvin. In summary, the author makes the case that individuals who have been known for amazing levels of performance in their respective fields of interest were able to perform to such breathtaking levels because of tens of thousands of hours of practice.

The various studies appear to show that despite the presence of talent at an early age in some children, it wasn’t natural-born talent that predicted future outstanding performance. Mature, world-class performance was instead predicted by deliberately practicing with focused intention for approximately 10,000 hours. Deliberate practice was defined as not necessarily practicing on the end-skill directly (such as playing football), but planning, practicing and training on all the individual components (such as specific strength or speed training exercises for a football player) that will eventually come together to produce what appears to others as magical, effortless talent.

History Builds Understanding of How Talent Changed


Your child can leverage his study of history toward building those 10,000 hours of world class talent. History can help your child build a deep understanding as to how human knowledge and skill changed in order to get to where it is today. For example, my twelve year old son Caleb has had an abiding interest in all things mineral and metal. I am encouraging that interest by insisting that he writes on mining or the use of metals as it is in done in the time period that we are cycling through. Just recently we were working through some history of the Middle-Ages and this allowed him to write this post about mining iron on the island of Elba.

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Dovetail Traditional Learning with Building a Talent for Life


One of my goals as a father is to make sure my children are not doing double the learning effort for the same benefits. Yes, I do want my sons and daughters to learn some of the traditional educational factoids and skills, but I don’t want them to do it at the detriment of building a life-long valuable talent. So the way I have approached this apparent time-dichotomy is to have them dovetail their traditional study hours with a talent building focus. This will not only get them to start building 10,000 hours of deliberate practice towards a world-class level talent, it will also help them absorb more efficiently the traditional knowledge.

Sign-up for my free 10KtoTalent email tips and let’s compare notes.