Someone Has Been Taking Malcolm Gladwell Too Seriously!

Thanks to reader Jeff for Michael Kruse's lengthy St. Petersburg Times story on Dan McLaughlin, an Oregonian who is testing the Gladwell-preached theory from "Outliers" that says with 10,000 hours of deliberate practice you can lift yourself from ordinary to excellence, even though McLaughlin was not a golfer prior to conceiving "The Dan Plan."

One wet, raw day last April, at the Broadmoor public golf course in Portland, Ore., Dan McLaughlin stood in the center of one of the greens. He wore running shoes, blue jeans and a yellow rubber raincoat. He wrapped his frozen fingers around a two-buck putter and hit one-foot putts, and he did that for two hours straight, stopped for a cup of hot, decaffeinated tea, then did it for two hours more. That's how this started.

On his 30th birthday, June 27, 2009, Dan had decided to quit his job to become a professional golfer.

He had almost no experience and even less interest in the sport.

What he really wanted to do was test the 10,000-hour theory he read about in the Malcolm Gladwell bestseller Outliers. That, Gladwell wrote, is the amount of time it takes to get really good at anything — "the magic number of greatness."

For those of you calculating at your workplace...

The Dan Plan will take six hours a day, six days a week, for six years. He is keeping diligent records of his practice and progress. People who study expertise say no one has done quite what Dan is doing right now.

There's a good reason for that.