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10 year rule

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  #1  
Old 03-07-2007, 07:02 AM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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10 year rule

I've been reading about the 10-year rule. This is a non-official (ie: rule of thumb) guide to how long you need to diligently practice at something before you can truly master it. This is one of the reasons it's so hard to master new skills later on (who has 10 years to invest after age 20?). And "diligent" is not to be underestimated, you can't just "do something" for 10 years, you have to actually be conciously and regularly striving to practice and improve during that time.

I can't think of a blasted thing I've diligently practiced for 10 years (although I came close on a couple of things, but quit them short). But that doesn't mean you have.

What have you diligently practiced for 10 (or more) years? And now that you know what it takes, would you consider putting in the 10 years to master something now?
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Old 03-07-2007, 08:02 AM
TomasD TomasD is offline
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Re: 10 year rule

Photography.. A never ending learning experience, over 10 years in and I'm still plugging away with articles, practice and peer review..

Its not something I think anyone can ever master - not even the recognised great!

And I fully intend to put another 10 years in and another after that

Would I consider something new with that kind of time investment? well I don't know.. I start something new every now and then, I'll report back if I make it to 10 years..

P.s. got my first Bonsai tree for christmas.. Its becoming an obsession.
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:50 AM
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Re: 10 year rule

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Nelson
I've been reading about the 10-year rule. This is a non-official (ie: rule of thumb) guide to how long you need to diligently practice at something before you can truly master it. This is one of the reasons it's so hard to master new skills later on (who has 10 years to invest after age 20?). And "diligent" is not to be underestimated, you can't just "do something" for 10 years, you have to actually be conciously and regularly striving to practice and improve during that time.

I can't think of a blasted thing I've diligently practiced for 10 years (although I came close on a couple of things, but quit them short). But that doesn't mean you have.

What have you diligently practiced for 10 (or more) years? And now that you know what it takes, would you consider putting in the 10 years to master something now?
I think the "ten year rule" is an arbitrary rule. As Thomas says, photography is an on-going learning experience. And so is the computer, which I took up about 15 years ago and I am well over 20.

Steve C.
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Old 03-07-2007, 10:10 AM
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Re: 10 year rule

A little light reading on the topic, both mentioning the work of Anders Ericsson (who decided it was 10 years):
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/04/sp...pagewanted=all
http://www.workingdialogue.com/WDdow.../greatness.pdf
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Old 03-07-2007, 10:13 AM
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Re: 10 year rule

I should imagine it depends what your definition of "master" is.

Some things take a lot more time than others to even get a basic control over.

I've been skiing for over 20 years now (admittedly not every day, usually 2-4 weeks per year), and whereas I'm competent by most normal standards, I would not by any means say I've fully mastered all its possibilities.

Whereas I could quite confidently say I'd mastered driving (as much as one needs to do to be safe and responsible on the road) in a much shorter time.
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Old 03-07-2007, 02:41 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: 10 year rule

i've been speaking the english language for over 50 years. i'll let you know when i master it
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Old 03-07-2007, 04:21 PM
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Re: 10 year rule

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraellin
i've been speaking the english language for over 50 years. i'll let you know when i master it
Craig, the only thing that lacks is to use a capital "I" when referring to yourself!

I see mastering (i.e. learning) anything as a (inverse) exponential curve. At first you learn a lot very quickly, then as time goes by you get into fine-tuning.
Setting a turning point on that curve is completely arbitrary - but I guess that's exactly where "rules-of-thumb" kick in.

Having said that,I'd agree that anything between 5 and 20 years is valid - so 10 is in the middle of my ball-park.

After 5 years of actively studying and practicing bowling I rolled a certified 300 game and was twice state champion. If I had continued for another 5 years then, yes, I think I would have called myself a "master".

On the other hand...I've been actively studying and practicing Portuguese for nearly 30 years and I still muck things up sometimes.

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Old 03-07-2007, 06:59 PM
videosean videosean is offline
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Re: 10 year rule

Hence the phrase "Jack of all trades... master of none."?
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Old 03-07-2007, 07:45 PM
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Re: 10 year rule

check this out

http://www.scottmcleod.org/didyouknow.wmv

I saw a similiar article a few years ago in Scientic American with regards to mastering something..like playing an instrument or playing chess etc. I believe they mentioned 10 years and practice as well...I'll try to find it again...
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Old 03-07-2007, 07:46 PM
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Re: 10 year rule

30-odd years of diligent practice and toil in mastering the fine art of sleep... Heh! I AM the Guru

I can see the relevence of the 10 year rule in something like mastering a musical instrument to a professional standard. Unlike something like computer graphics where technique etc is in a perpetual state of flux, the learning is constant and I wouldn't be surprised if I am still wading neck deep through new stuff in 10 years time. I think 'consistently keeping up' is the definition of 'mastering' here. Music theory, technique, instruments have been pretty much standard for years to centuries, once you know it- you know it. The rest that takes time is maturity and experience.
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