Archive for 10,000 Hours

The Precocious Must Work Just as Hard for Talent

Chica tocando el violín

To get to the top, both average and early “talented” children have to go through the same grueling 10,000 hours of training. There is no break for the precocious. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Quote by Geoff Colvin in chapter 2 of his book “Talent is Overrated: What really separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else“:

“By age twelve, the researchers found, the students in the most elite group were practicing an average of two hours a day versus about fifteen minutes a day for the students in the lowest group, an 800 percent difference…nothing it turned out, enabled any group to reach any given grade level [of musical ability] without putting in those hours…To put the results in their starkest terms: Shown five groups of students, one of which won positions at a top-ranked music school and one of which gave up even trying to play an instrument, we would all say that the first group is obviously immensely more talented…but…they were not.”

As it turns out even for children whom people would normally label as precocious in their early childhood ability to carry out a tune, that it would have little to no impact on their future ability to be world-class instrumental players. It seemed that without severe and extensive training, no amount of preciousness or innate ability in a child could allow him to avoid the same amount of effort that an otherwise average child would need to in order to become just as amazingly great. The conclusion therefore is that the super-talented are grown, not born, into their superhuman performance abilities. This principle of talent applies to all other fields of human talent.

My personal (not the author’s) added caveat to parents is to be careful about investing yourself in a skill-set for which you think your child has innate talent when it might have no practical future or use in their adult life. To become outstanding in some fields, your child would still have to put in 10,000 hours of hard dedicated work, but there might be little room to make a living or even to perform that talent for others for free. There might already be too many people that good and adding your child to that crowd is not adding much more to the world. That talent pursuit in an already crowded room of performers is not a “free” opportunity to your child as pursuing it would mean not having time becoming great in a field where others wholeheartedly welcome your child.

So when I recommend developing talent, I mean it should be talent that will bring great ADDED value to others. This is why I recommend you work through the guide “How to Discover and Develop Your Child’s First 100 Hours of Talent” so you avoid the pitfalls of latching on to a flamboyant, but completely irrelevant talent.

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Will 10,000 Hours Make Your Child an Expert?

Mount Shasta

Will 10,000 hours turn your child into a massive mountain of expertise? Yes, if… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Will 10,000 hours or 1o years of practice make your child an expert?

No, it will not make him an expert if he practices 10,000 hours of the same skill. You intuitively know this is why 10,000 hours or 10 years of working as a fast order cook would turn him into a worldwide famous master chef.

Yes, it will make him an expert if 10,000 hours of practice is broken down into separate skills that are continually added and chosen to push forward a particular talent. This is why extremely talented people often get started young (for a big time head start) with lots of caring guidance from parents and personal coaches (for careful choice of skills).

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Same Experience Repeated Over and Over is Not Talent

English: Kimberley and Babette Nederlands: Kim...

10,000 hours of talent development is not the same thing as applying the first few hours of instruction thousands of hours over and over (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The same small experience repeated over and over is what keeps an entry level job at the status of an entry level job. After a full year of work standing on her feet at a typical teenage job at McDonalds, there are probably only eight hours of added skill to the child’s life. The same principle applies when guiding your child into accumulating her 10,000 hours of talent development in household management: a daughter who is enthusiastically cooking, teaching, and helping her mom with home organization is not enough to build world-class talent. To be recognized as a future mother and wife who has taken the world of household management by storm, she would have to daily push the boundaries of her abilities with new tools and new ideas of management…until her performance appears magical to others, like that of the fictional Mary Poppins.

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Small Interest to Big Talent

Don’t wander around looking for the sign of your child’s BIG TALENT. Instead, like the fathers of Mozart and Tiger Woods, start your child young, under your protective and nurturing wings, and follow this pattern of 10,000 hours of talent development; get the free e-guide “How to Discover and Develop Your Child’s First 100 Hours of Talent” to jump-start the first small interest phase:

Small Interest

Small Skill

Small Productive Output

Small Feeling-of-Satisfaction

Which leads to…

Bigger Interest

Bigger Skill

Bigger Productive Output

Bigger Feeling-of-Satisfaction

Which leads to…

Very Big Interest

Very Big Skill

Very Big Productive Output

Very Big Feeling-of-Satisfaction

which equals to…VERY BIG TALENT!

Eight Principles to Develop Your Child’s Talent

Apply these eight principles to develop world class talent in your child’s life.

Develop your child’s talent with these eight principles:

  1. Start young
  2. Practice daily
  3. Use your environment and assets
  4. Decompose talent into smaller skills
  5. Merge skills from different fields
  6. Enlist family goals and desires
  7. Act out the talent in a way that gives value to others
  8. Make your homeschool curriculum feed your child’s talent