Practice, obsession and the catch-up game

I’m currently reading Bounce, the book by Matthew Syed that debunks the “Talent Myth”.   It’s a well-written exposition of how the individuals we think of as being child prodigies or otherwise abnormally gifted, often had circumstances that were highly conducive to their later success.

He writes convincingly of the 10,000 hour “rule” for developing expertise.  This states that in order to develop world class expertise in a particular field, one has to apply focussed practice for around 10,000 hours  in order to achieve it.  In the case of many of the highly recognisable names, they had accumulated that level of practice by their late teens or early twenties.

So what do we do if we want to become expert-level (not necessarily world-class) at something later in life?  How do we accumulate the expertise when we are typically much more time-poor?

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