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Sunday, July 3, 2011


There's a best selling book on the market. I haven't read it, but I heard about the theory.

The title of the book is Outlier.  I'll use Wikipedia' definition, "An outlying observation, or outlier, is one that appears to deviate markedly from other members of the sample in which it occurs. 

Outliers are individuals who have focused long enough on an activity to become expert at it. The authors of this book talk about the "10,000-Hour Rule", claiming that the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours.

So, for example, assuming it takes 4 hours to play 18 holes of golf, you would have to play 2,500 individual rounds to become expert, or about 48 years if you played once a week. (Of course by that time, even if you were an 'expert', your age would start to add strokes to your game, and you probably wouldn't be on the pro-circuit.) Anyone who is a golfer is going to jump all over my example.

The point of all this is, I am not an outlier in any aspect of my life, and in some areas, I am the antithesis of outlier. (I wonder if that's an inlier?) At my age, to become expert at something, I better spend about 12 hours a day which could put me in the outlier range in a little over 2 years. I'm trying to become an outlier in the craft of writing novels, so I think I'm about half way to learning how to be an outlying novelist.  

Where would you focus your attention to become an outlier? Do you have an activity or an area where you would like to excel? 


1 comment:

  1. Speaking about the emotional aspects of breast cancer. Also the importance of screening awareness and early detection.