Jullien Gordon on How Aligning Mind With Time Turns Passions into Skills

In Chapter 14 of 14 of his 2010 Capture Your Flag interview, motivation teacher Jullien Gordon shares the importance of identifying skills and the accumulation of hours already invested. To crystallize a passion into a skill, defined as an experience or outcome you can replicate better than an average person, Gordon pushes coaching clients to invest time in building that experience. Gordon references author Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 Hour rule - known as "practice time" - detailed in his book "Outliers" as one way aligning one's mind with time turns passion into skills and competitive advantage. Gordon holds an MBA and Masters in Education from Stanford University and a BA from UCLA.


Erik Michielsen:  How do you coach others to align their mind with their time to put turn their passions into skills?

Jullien Gordon: Even though this isn’t Gladwell’s theory, it came up in his book “The Ten Thousand Hour Rule”.  I really get people to – The ten thousand hours is basically 20 hours a week, 50 weeks a year for 10 years.  So, whatever it is that you want to position yourself as an expert at, you have to set aside at least 20 hours a week for 50 weeks a year for 10 years to make that happen.  In reality because I think we’re always moving toward our purpose, whether we know it or not, the challenges that we are facing are only moving us toward our purpose, and the happiness that we’re experiencing is because we’re in line with our purpose. 

Many people already have thousands of hours accumulated, but they weren’t aware that they were actually developing some sort of skill.  You doing these interviews, you being on your forty-fifth interview over the past year, all of that is accumulation of hours toward some sort of skill set that you’re developing.  You might not even have the language around it yet – I know we talked about leadership skills and development – but we are always developing, developing, developing. So, it’s really about crystallizing your passion into a skill.  A skill is basically something that you can replicate more frequently than someone who isn’t as skilled.  So, the only reason that people are getting paid millions of dollars to play on the Yankees is because they can hit an 80 mph fast ball better than you and I can.  They can replicate that experience better than you and I can.  And that’s what a skill is, being able to replicate a particular experience or outcome better than the average person.