A man decided he was going to quit his job and become a professional golfer. He isn’t a great amateur golfer, didn’t golf in college or even high school. In fact, he had never golfed before.
But he decided to put the notion, popularized by Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, that someone can become an expert at something by practicing for 10,000 hours. As Gladwell put it, that number is “the magic number of greatness.”
The man is Dan McLaughlin and he’s a year into his six-year plan.
When Dan first told his family about The Dan Plan, his father thought: In 10,000 hours, you could become a doctor. He wondered what to tell his son. Don’t quit the job you don’t like? Don’t gamble with your future? The actuary wanted to tell him those things. The father did not.
But Steve McLaughlin also didn’t think his son would take this as far as he has. Neither did his mother. Neither did his brother or his sister or his girlfriend.
“Dan’s always been an ideas guy,” his brother, Matthew McLaughlin, said. “The fact that he would think of such a thing isn’t surprising. But ideas are one thing. Execution is another. He would get frustrated and quit.”
At this point, though, more than 1,000 hours and nearly a year into the plan, they’re more than surprised. They’re impressed.
Can’t say that I’m not cheering for McLaughlin.
Read the article for a profile on McLaughlin and his very odd way of learning how to play golf.