Today, the day before Thanksgiving, my friend Ben Jones (@WarchantBen) suggested the website The Dan Plan to me via Twitter. For quite some time I have scoured the Internet looking for personal golf blogs and websites. These types of websites are harder and harder to find as most people are sharing everything via Facebook, Twitter and major golf message boards. Upon arriving at TheDanPlan.com I was immediately struck by the beautiful layout and the simplicity of the website. The thing that hooked me was Dan’s commitment of 10,000 hours to become an expert.
One of the best books I have ever read is Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and in this book he explains the 10,000 hour rule. To cut to the chase, any human must spend 10,000 hours to become an expert in a field or at a skill. Gladwell explains that even child prodigies spend 10,000 hours before they truly hit their greatest moments. Tiger started playing golf at 3 and didn’t reach his prime until 21 or 22. If you surveyed most of the PGA Tour pros I am certain they put in 10,000 before they even reach the tour or broke 70.
If you truly want to be an expert in something, you have to put in your time. Research says that amount of time is 10,000 hours. The Dan Plan was to try and put 10,000 hours in by December 2016. He quit his job in April 2010 and started plugging away at the game of golf. Interestingly enough, I picked up a golf club for the first time in March 2010. That said, I did not quit my job and I have definitely not put in as much time as Dan.
While some of my friends would say I have put in more hours than most, there were still times throughout those four years in which I only played a handful of times a month. In fact, during the summer of 2013 I hardly played at all. I do play three or four times a week now but have accepted that a 10 handicap is right where I want to be. There is no reason for me to rebuild my swing to drop a few strokes per round. I am never going to play golf professionally and I lose more money than I make while on the course.
The Dan Plan is truly interesting to me because Dan McLaughlin obviously has a background in marketing and is well educated. By reading one of his blog posts I already know this is something that is going to peak my interest for quite some time. If Dan is any bit as obsessed with the game of golf as I am this is going to be a match made in Internet heaven.
If you want to know more about The Dan Plan, check out this video:
In one of his latest blog posts, Dan mentions needing to gain funds for his adventure. Being a prolific writer I truly believe he should do some copywriting for major websites which will allow him to work on his own time. One of the biggest problems with those looking to put in 10,000 hours is life calls. Sometimes this is a relationship, other times it is a job. If Dan has to get a part time job it is going to take a large chunk of time. This includes mental struggles with having to give up what you enjoy to do what you must. I went through this when I was working in retail. Fortunately, for me, I created my own business and have not had to deal with a boss in over five years.
Hopefully, Dan gets a few sponsors and can continue to plug away at the game of golf. He is just short of 10,000 hours right now which means it will likely take a total of 10 years to put in the necessary time. I am excited to see where this journey goes. And no, I am not getting any ideas.