How to become an expert in any field

Joshua Chung, Tut 03


 David Z. Hambrick, Fredrik Ullén, Miriam Mosing. “Is Innate Talent a Myth?” Scientific American, 20 Sept. 2016,

  • This article is a secondary source. It is about although hard work is a big factor in making someone an expert at something, they ask the question if innate talent should be dismissed as a factor. This article offers valuable information as they extensively trained individuals to perform task seen as talents. Furthermore, they speak about world class athletes as well and leave open for debate on how talent and hard work collide.

How to Become an Expert at Anything.” Time, Time,

  • This article is also a secondary source. The main article i am using is by Anders Ericsson. The article by time addresses some of the strategies that Ericsson deems necessary to become an expert in a field. Furthermore the article also provides many different steps that one must undertake to become the best at something. The article at the end says that you will be happier at the top; however, this brings up the fact that not everyone is able to be at the top. Also, it makes it much easier to become extremely stressful and oversimplifies the methods to every single field.

Carter, Ben. “Can 10,000 Hours of Practice Make You an Expert?” BBC News, BBC, 1 Mar. 2014,

  • This article is a secondary source. The article features a man who wants to quit his job and practice 10000 hours to make the PGA. It talks about the 10000 hour rule and where it comes from. The article also offers a variety of perspectives on this rule and why certain people may be more inclined to try than others. This article addresses the popular 10000 hour rule which is believed to be vital to reach expertise in a certain area. This 10000 hour rule is important to consider when talking about expertise.

Rpowell. “Estimated Probability of Competing in Professional Athletics.” - The Official Site of the NCAA, 13 Mar. 2017,

  • This  is a secondary source. It is basically a bunch of statistics on how many NCAA players make the leap from college to professional sports. The percentages are quite low and as little as 1% of players in the NCAA will make the pros. This offers a perspective on the competitiveness to reach that professional level. It also makes you wonder what kind of characteristics these players that thrive all have in common. Also, it can be discussed the difficulties and possible consequences for throwing everything away to pursue one talent. Because the reality is a very low number of people make it and maybe that talent plays a bigger role in distinguishing the people who make it from the ones who don't. 

Episode Pitch

Have you ever looked at someone extremely talented and think to yourself, dang how did they get so good, or why am I not that good anything? Or maybe even vice versa, you might know someone who has dedicated their entire life towards a single goal; yet, they are still not good enough in the end. Why does this happen if practice make perfect? Well, according to Anders Ericsson, a professor who is obsessed with how people become good at anything, natural talent does not really exist. The real reason why you’re not that amazing at anything is because you haven’t engaged in something known as deliberate practice. In other words, Ericsson does not believe that innate talent and IQ has a significant part to play in becoming an expert. Rather, to become really good at something is not about how much you practice, but is all about the way you practice. However, this is not something every psychologist agrees with.

                I mean, it would be encouraging to know that if you worked really hard at a skill, you can become a professional or expert in a certain field, but can being an expert really be as simple as just engaging in deliberate practice? What about all these top prospect athletes who ended up failing to make the professional league or failed at the elite level?  Also, why is it that the average height of NBA players is 6’7? Are the shorter players simply not putting in the deliberate practice and hours necessary to reach that elite level? If what Ericsson is saying about deliberate practice is correct, then just imagine what people as a whole will be motivated to try.

                Ericsson does acknowledge that the path to becoming the best at something requires many sacrifices, and is a lonely road. It will be filled with many frustrations as you experience failure after failure. It is also a big commitment as he does not know anyone in this world who is an expert in more than one field. So, if this is the road you are going to take you better make sure you love what you are doing.

                Nobody really knows all the intricacies of why someone becomes the best at something they do. This is something the “experts” have been trying to figure out for a while now. But this proves to be really difficult because sometimes it is not very clear what an expert actually is.  After all, some fields require more dedication to reach the top. One thing for sure is that people should take caution when reading Ericsson’s work. Nowadays, being considered an expert is all a competition and you must be better than the others around you. These people may be trying just as hard or even harder than you are. If you prefer a life of peace, there is no problem with settling for a more casual level.