Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Marlene Myers in Michigan.

There is a great article in the Wall Street Journal this weekend. John Paul Newport wrote in the Golf Journal about talent versus hard work and if you’ve been following my blog, or have come to one of my lectures, you will see how Newport’s article fits right in with one of my biggest themes. The article, “Mastery, Just 10,000 Hours Away” talks about how hard work, not talent is the key to success.

Newport talks about two key books, “Outliers,” by Malcolm Gladwell and “Talent Is Overrated,” by Geoff Colvin and how a common theme is “super-high achievers are not fundamentally different from you and me, they just work harder and smarter.”

“In explaining the development of extraordinary talent, both Mr. Gladwell and Mr. Colvin zero in on seminal research by Florida State Professor Anders Ericsson and colleagues that suggest the threshold for world-class expertise in any discipline-music, sports, chess, science, business management-is about 10 years, or 10,000 hours, of persistent, focused training and experience.”

Colvin talks about “deliberate practice,” which is “activity specifically designed, ideally by an expert teacher, to improve performance beyond a person’s current comfort and ability level. These activities are repeatable, provide clear feedback and are highly demanding mentally, even when largely physical…The good news about deliberate practice is that, with commitment, almost anyone can engage in it at any age.”

The article also said that we don’t all need to spend 10,000 hours on something, as long as we put in quality time. We can practice a slow-motion, or a 30-second swing to really become aware of what we are doing. I always tell my students that you can either commit your swing to muscle memory, which will take you a long time, or you can just understand the components of your swing and then visualize it, before you actually do it.

What does all this mean?

If you work hard and work smart, anything can happen.

Thanks for reading.