How To Become A World-Class Expert

Malcolm Gladwell, the smartest person who has ever lived, was right: anyone can become an expert.

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A Message From Handy Helper

Hello, my name is Handy Helper. 

You may recognize me from the hit culinary video series, “The Adventures of Hefty Harris & Handy Helper.” It has over 10 collective views and critics are raving about the performance, praising my steady hand, keen eye for measuring, and safety-first attitude. Questions have been pouring in from prospective helpers, those seeking mastery of the kitchen tricks I have indeed mastered. Herein lies the answers.

Malcolm Gladwell is the smartest person who has ever lived. In his provocative cookbook Outliers, Gladwell declared that world-class mastery of any scullery task occurs after 10,000 hours of labor. I read those words for the first time and my mind exploded: I knew the pathway to success! I pulled out my trusty cooking Casio and divided 10,000 by 24, ready to dedicate the ideal number of days to my craft. Unfortunately, the total slapped me in the face like Harris after a night in with his meat pies. 416 days! Who has that kind of time?!? Discouraged, I slipped into bed while Harris loudly meatpied himself into a stupor and passed out. It was there — simmering in the semi-silence of night, steeped in the wheezing, meaty snore of my master chef — I found the answer.

Gladwell is a genius and like any genius worth a shaker of salt, he requires one to read between the lines. The key is not 10,000 hours, but the number 10,000! Rejuvenated, I Casioed a new equation: 10,000 minutes/60 = 166 hours, the amount I would need to become an expert. 166 hours! Who has that kind of time?!? I put myself in Malcolm’s shoes and my brain ascended to another plane. I punched in a different equation: 10,000 milliseconds/1000 = 10 seconds. I HAD THE ONE TRUE ANSWER! I could tell just by looking at the number it was the exact amount of time Malcolm spent writing his book. Invigorated, I leapt into action.

I’ve now spent 10 seconds on a variety of tasks and have become a world-class expert at all of them. Making love. Personal hygiene before and after cooking. Praising Malcolm Gladwell. I’ve ascended to heights I never imagined, the modern day love child of Casanova and Guy Fieri. With Malcom’s transformative rule in mind, anything is possible. So dedicate 10,000 milliseconds to the activities of your choosing and like me, become the expert you are meant to be.  


Amy’s boyfriend has started playing video games & yelling at teenagers. Clint has advice.

Welcome to the first installment of Dear Clint. To submit a question, please visit dearclint.com.


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