The antithesis to 10,000 hours

There’s a lot of reasonable thinking out there about how a skill is mastered, including the 10,000-hour rule popularized by Malcolm Gladwell.

I’m the first to advocate for the value of persistence — in marketing analytics, software development, and countless other disciplines there’s tremendous value in chasing every issue to its core and in finishing the job, even down to the tedious, final 10%.

Still, there are people whose skills — in strategy, writing, design, or coding –seem to transcend what’s possible for others. Leo Messi has likely put his 10,000 hours in, but I doubt there are many who could achieve what he has for the beautiful game.

According to the New York Times, former FC Barcelona Manager Pep Guardiolo said of Messi, “Don’t try to write about him. Don’t try to describe him. Watch him.” Here are 86 of his 88 goals in 2012 — but it’s really worth watching a full match if you can.

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