How to Be Great at Anything

It takes time to be great at anything. You can’t expect to wake up one morning and suddenly be a world-class chef. It takes years of practice and thousands of hours learning from your mistakes.

There’s even a 10,000-hour rule, according to Malcolm Gladwell’s Outlier, in mastering any skill. This rule states that in order to be truly master a skill, you need to spend 10,000 hours honing that skill. So, if you spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week in your job, you’ll need 5 years to be great at what you do.

5 years doesn’t seem so bad.

What if you can’t spend 40 hours a week honing your preferred skill?

There are 2 ways to go about it. Both have pros and cons.

  1. Get a job you actually like doing. You’ll probably get a low salary due to lack of experience but you get to focus on what you want to do.
  2. Spend time after work to improve your skills. It’ll take longer to master the skill and you’ll have to sacrifice a little bit of your personal time but you get to keep your steady income job.

There’s no “one way is better than the other” in this scenario. To be great at anything, you need to spend the time and effort to hone it.

It’s okay to make mistakes along the way

In fact, you need to make mistakes. That way, you get to learn from them. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Truth is, you might even fail a few times before something right comes your way. And when you do face failure, don’t give up. Keep working to improve.

Overcome the challenges

It can be daunting to pick up a new skill as you’ll face a lot of challenges. When you’ve overcome that fear and the challenges along the way, you’ll come out as a better, wiser, strong person.

So, you see… mastering a skill not only helps you be great that one skill. You’ll be a better person as a whole.

I know you’re probably thinking you didn’t exactly learn anything new in this article. You’re right! You don’t need a special formula to be great at anything. You just need patience, resilience, consistency and hard work.

That’s it. And most likely, you’ve heard and read about those characteristics in other resources. So what’s new? Nothing.

If you know all this and have not done any of it, don’t complain about “not being good” at what you do. Keep your head down and focus on improving.

Use up at least 1 hour of your day to work on yourself. It takes a lot of work to be great at anything. You’ll get there.

Even if you feel like you have not achieved it, don’t be too hard on yourself. The process you’ve gone through is full of lessons.

Also, don’t forget to enjoy life along the way.

I wish you all the best.

Previously published on

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Photo credit: By Ian Froome on Unsplash