If you want to know what the latest research on performance and achievement has to say about what it takes to become an expert in any field or endeavor, then you want to listen to this podcast.

Why can some people do things so much better than others?

What makes one person good at something, another bad, and yet another so great that we can’t wrap our heads around it?

Is it mostly just hard work? Talent? A bit of both? Some other X factor or factors?

Today’s guest, Dr. Anders Ericsson, has spent most of his professional life researching these questions. In fact, it was his seminal research on talent that gave us the now famous–and generally misunderstood–“10,000 hour rule,” that was popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers.

In case you haven’t heard of it, the 10,000 hour rule states that if you want to be great at something, you need to put in at least 10,000 hours of focused, structured, productive practice. To put that in perspective, that’s about 5 hours of “deliberate practice,” as Dr. Ericsson calls it, per day for about 4 years.

That’s the idea at least.

As you’ll learn in this podcast, the 10,000 hour rule is more fiction than fact. The reality is far more nuanced, and encouraging because it’s actually accessible to all of us. We can use Dr. Ericsson’s research and advice to learn and improve new things faster and easier, and ultimately, it’s up to us how far we want to take it.

Here’s a bit of what you’ll learn in this episode…

  • The most effective way to practice any skill or activity so you actually get better.
  • How to stay motivated to keep going for as long as it takes to develop real skills and abilities.
  • The importance of enjoyment, relaxation, and recovery in self-development.
  • And more…

Click the player below to listen in…


5:51 – How do you implement deliberate practice?

18:21 – How do people stay motivated to become an expert in their field?

32:46 –  What’s your experience with high level performers who push themselves to the point where they don’t want to perform anymore?

34:07 – How important is fun when applying deliberate practice?

37:09 – What are some tips to help people rejuvenate so they can continue to operate at a high level?

40:50 – How do you practice relaxing?

44:50 – How can personal experiences and journeys be communicated more effectively?  

47:12 – What are some of your favorite biographies?

52:43 – How can people find you and your work?

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What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!