Recently, I read Malcom Gladwell’s awesome book entitled Outliers. The book examines how and why billionaires, virtuosos and other people with tremendous success got to these unimaginable heights. He asserts that there is NEVER a purely rags to riches story of a poor person who gets to the top of his or her game through sheer will and determination. Gladwell says that opportunities, community, culture and preparation play a big role in all success stories.
As far as preparation, Gladwell states that the magic number is 10,000 hours. That means that in order to be an expert at anything, you need at least 10,000 hours of practice doing that thing. No exceptions. Lawyers, writers, actors, computer programmers, whoever. You need 10,000 hours. Gladwell’s book is a great read and if nothing else you will put it down with a renewed interest in networking and taking action towards reaching your goals.
Why am I putting this in a Love Musings post? Well, I’m wondering if that 10,000 hours theory applies to love and dating. Does it take at least 10,000 hours of dating to become an “expert” at dating or being in a relationship? Well, let’s do the math!
Let’s say the average date is four hours long. (I arrived at that number because it’s about the time it takes for dinner and a movie or a concert and a bite to eat and other things like that.) If you divide 10,000 by four, you get 2,500. So that means you need 2,500 dates to become an expert dater or an expert relationship-haver (new term!). Ummm, that’s alot of dates. That’s like going on one date per day for about seven years. BUT, if you count regular time spent in a relationship, then those 10,000 hours are not so hard to get! Think about those entire days, nights, weekends and week-long vacations you’ve spent with your snoogie woogie. If you’ve lived with someone, if you’re a serial-monogamist or if you’re prone to regularly spending whole weekends with your honey pie, you can easily get your 10,000 hours between say 16 and 28 years old.
Is there anything to that? I do think it takes time to get to know yourself , who you are and what helps you evolve as a person. I’m 30 years old, married, dated a lot in my single days and I have way beyond 10,000 hours of dating and relationship time under my belt. I definitely grew a lot from my first say 1,000 hours to my 5,000th hour. Some lessons I learned more than once and I am oh so grateful for every single experience I had, pleasurable and painful.
But does the basic theory of 10,000 hours apply to matters of the heart? About how many hours do you think you have?