The value of expertise is something everyone spends time to acquire. But how many hours is “enough” to achieve expertise status? Malcolm Gladwell in the book “Outliers – The story of success” popularized the theory that 10,000 hours of dedicated practice in a given field or area of expertise allows a person to become an “expert”. One point that I also liked was he said essentially there is no such thing as natural talent rather we all have talent and if we spend the requisite amount of time, we can all develop that talent.
It was good to know that just because you are a genius it doesn’t mean you will be highly successful.
Another quote that I read is:
“Practice as if you are the worst, perform as if you are the best.”
Practice begins from childhood, we practice various activities like talking, reading, writing, eating, cooking etc. For learning an art or any activity, one needs constant practice. The child practices speaking first by learning the alphabets, then the words, sentences and finally the speech. The child through repeated practice reaches perfection in speaking. The same applies when a child wants to walk. But when you have to perform, perform like an expert and think ‘I’m the best’.
Practice is the best way by which one can achieve perfection. In the accounting field due to constant changes, the 10,000 hour rule may get extended continuously! However, practice makes one feel and understand the same idea or concept, again and again. Practice would help reduce errors and make one work more effectively.
Practice a skill at more challenging levels with the intention of mastering it. If you normally would take 2 weeks for an audit, do it faster than 2 weeks and add on another activity. The more you do the more experience you gain and the more you challenge yourself the faster you become an expert. But remember to do Perfect work, every time.