Being great at something isn’t just something that happens. It isn’t one of those things that you don’t even know that it is happening. I can assure you that you will know if you are on your path to greatness. You have to feel like you are outworking everyone else. You need to have the feeling that there is no possible way that someone in the same field as you is working harder than you at a particular moment. You wake up early to do whatever it is you want to be great at. You are always the last one practicing. Especially at sports.
But sports are not the only things that you need to practice at to be good. I can name off tons of things at this very moment. Such as guitar, programming, well lets say pretty much anything that is a hobby or that has competition.
There are many articles that say you need 10,00 hours of practice to be good at something. I think that this may be true for some things but it really depends on the activity. Some activities may take 8,000, and others may take 14,000, but I think that the takeaway from those articles are that being great at something doesn’t come easy. 10,000 hours, more or less, is a lot of time that needs to be invested.
10,000 hours will probably take you a minimum of 5 years to complete. If you work all day every day. Most people won’t invest that much time into something. So the average amount of years is probably about 10.5 years. If you do something for 3 hours a day, 365 days a year, for 10 years straight, then you will have 10,950 hours invested in what you are doing. Say that you don’t practice for three hours a day every day of the year. This will probably end up being about 10 and a half years in the long run.
Another point that is very important in being great at something is what kind of practice you are doing. You should be doing deliberate practice. This could mean creating a practice plan or making sure that you are doing some technique right. Whatever it is make sure that you are not creating bad habits. If you end doing random practice at whatever you are working at then you will not be getting very much better. One example that I am very familiar with is in golf. If anyone plays golf they will or should know that if you just go out to the range and start hitting away you are not going to end up being very good. Or in other words improving. You might already be good at the activity but sometimes you can just plateau and end up staying at the same skill level. To fix this problem you need to create good deliberate practice habits.
Overall you just need to work your butt off and don’t look back.