The 10,000-hour rule is a popular ideology – that when you put 10,000 hours practicing deliberately on an activity you can master it. It is a magical number introduced by K. Anders Ericsson, a psychologist (and later on, popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in his book entitled ‘Outliers’), the 10,000-hour rule argues that anyone can be an expert of various fields by allotting thousands of hours to become successful in it.

Gladwell called successful individuals, whose achievements are out of the normal, as the “Outliers”.  Based on the popularity of the book, this 10,000 hour rule is commonly cited in general modern culture (despite the fact that it’s a relatively small part of the book). In fact, it’s one of those “rules of thumb” that is said so often it’s just accepted as true.

More recently, I heard a great new take on the rule from the modern genius of Naval Ravikant. In speaking with Tim Ferriss he quickly mentioned (what I’m dubbing) a new version of “The 10,000 hour rule.”

Ravikant said that – today- it’s not 10,000 hours

It’s 10,000 iterations.

It’s 10,000 tries. It’s 10,000 attempts. It’s 10,000 launches and 9,999 ‘failures’.   It’s 10,000 tweaks and adjustments. It’s 10,000 “oh shit that didn’t work”s.

Or it’s a modern version of Thomas Edison’s quote that “I have just found 5,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb.”

Some of the iterations might be a 2 minutes tweak where you “try-tweak-retry.”
Some of the iterations might set you back 2 weeks or 2 months.

The other interesting side effect of this rule is that it might change some of your goal lines.

Maybe your defined goal is too close. Maybe you hit your “goal” in 5,000 iterations. Then still do 10,000.

Do 10,000 and make it GREAT

Or do 10,000 and make a whole new thing.

Maybe you are a super-achiever and help invent the internet standard for online payment services at 5,000th “iteration of what you can be”. Keep working!

Because maybe by the 6,000th “iteration of what you can be” you will create a better way to harness the sun into energy,

… the 7,000th “iteration of what you can be” you could create the gold standard of electric cars

……Then at 8,000th “iteration of what you can be” send rockets to space.

Lord only knows what you are going to achieve at your 10,000th “iteration of what you can be”.

It’s not about the time. It’s about the tries. The tries to do more. The iterations to get better. The 10,000 iterations to be the expert YOU that you can be.