Sunday, November 16, 2008

More thoughts on the article about genius. It's so mind-blowing to think that gaining world-class skills in something is not only attainable for people, but even predictable. 4,000 hours works out to about 2 years of 40-hour weeks, and 10,000 hours works out to 5 years.

Of course, that assumes you can tolerate it for that long. I like to say that there are four important, independent considerations in picking a career:

  1. how much you like it,
  2. how quickly you can learn it,
  3. how long you can do it without getting sick of it, and
  4. whether you can make a living at it.

I found that I really liked musical conducting, and I could learn it quickly, but in the long run, couldn't do it for more than about an hour a month without getting burned out. And even though I don't like computers as much as some other things, I can do it all week long (although I still have to watch out for burnout).

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