In this Big Think Edge preview ( https://edge.bigthink.com/ best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell teaches you that If your goal is to become masterful at what you do, the formula is simple: stay focused and do your time.
Malcolm Gladwell: The kind of notion that geniuses, people who are extraordinarily good, invariably have put in an extraordinary amount of effort, this notion of the 10,000 hour rule, that anyone who has mastered a cognitively complex field has almost always put in this extraordinary level of practice first -- So that says, in order to be good at what you do, you need to be obsessive in your preparation. But that is a very separate issue from what makes somebody popular. So mastery is one thing; success and popularity are another. They are sometimes linked, but often they’re not.
Don't sit around waiting to be recognized.
Clive Davis, one of the greatest music executives of all time, the guy who discovered so many artists, when he was hiring someone, A&R people, he would say to them, he would ask them to bring in five songs that they thought should be hits, but weren’t, and if he agreed with them, if he heard those five songs and said, “You’re right, that should have been a hit,” he’d hire the person. But implicit in that notion was that the universe of songs that could have been hits was way greater than the universe of songs that were hits. In other words, he thought there was lots of stuff out there he thought was fantastic that never saw the light of day. And that’s, to me, there is a lot of truth in that, that we- that popularity is only a tiny fraction of the universe of things that are great.
Check your inner critic: get clear on what failure really is.
Choking is the kind of failure that results from thinking too much, so I know what to do and I've in fact, I know I've mastered a task so well that I do it without thinking. I hit a tennis ball, I'm a great tennis player. When I hit my forehand I don’t even think about it, I just hit my forehand, but then I'm at match point against this ferocious competitor and all the pressure in the world is on me and all the sudden when I go to hit my forehand I think about it, right, and that sort of takes me out of that unconscious zone that is necessary for excellence and I fail and we see it again and again with athletes. With the game on the line in basketball and you’re doing the foul shot, all the sudden something you’ve done a thousand times in your life you kind of unconsciously you think about every single moment of it and you can’t do it that way.
Panicking is the opposite. It’s the kind of failure that comes from an absence of knowledge. I'm in a tight spot and I don’t know what to do. I've never practiced it. I've never been - I’m driving down the road and my car slips on the ice and I have absolutely no clue about how to correct a slide, never happened to me before. I'm 17 years-old. What happens? I panic.