The ‘10,000 hours rule’ popularized by Malcolm Gladwell says that, basically, a lot of work and effort is needed to achieve excellence and mastery in any given pursuit.

But time alone may not be enough. How that time is spent is also important. After all, why do some runners hit the pavement everyday but still run so slowly?

Angela Duckworth answers this question by proposing the idea of ‘deliberate practice’, made up of four elements:

  • A clearly defined stretch goal
  • Full concentration and effort
  • Immediate and informative feedback
  • Repetition with reflection and refinement

Without these four items, it is possible to spend time without improvement.

And with these four elements, anybody can, through effort, make significant improvements in their skill.

I’m going to reflect on this a bit more and see how to apply it.