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Experience Counts

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Does experience count? We've heard it enough, and might have even said to ourselves, "This ain't my first rodeo." What does that really mean? Well, it's a phrase more often than not said by a more experienced person when they're given unwanted or unnecessary advice by someone else.

So does experience really count? Malcom Gladwell, author of Outliers, studied the lives of extremely successful people - among them the Beatles - to find out why and how they achieved success. Gladwell's research is enlightening. Psychologists who studied elite musicians in the 1990's found that the elite had more than double the practice hours of less capable performers. An interesting point - natural talent didn't play a role. The conclusion: there's a direct statistical relationship between excellence and time devoted to practice.

Experience Makes All the Difference in Estate Litigation from Hackard Law on Vimeo.

Gladwell also studied the Beatles. Starting with a book on them in their Hamburg days, unappreciated and underpaid, Gladwell noted that by the time the Beatles had become a supposed "overnight phenomenon," they had played over 1,200 concerts together. With their long concerts and preparation, they'd practiced for at least 10,000 hours.

Some call this the Rule of 10,000. Where have we logged in 10,000 hours of practice? For me, assuming about 1800 practice in a year, I log 10,000 hours every six years or so. Now, 40 years of practice is nearing 70,000 hours. That's a lot of time in the legal trenches.

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San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy and catcher Buster Posey. Photo: USA TODAY Sports

As with a baseball player, game experience can evolve into managerial wisdom. Bruce Bochy, the San Francisco Giants' manager, played catcher in the Big Leagues for nearly 19 years, and he has now managed in the Big Leagues for 21 years. Buster Posey has now been a Big League catcher for the Giants for 7 years. No one in their right mind would replace Buster with Bochy as catcher just because Bochy has more years' experience in the position. Experience has its advantages, but it's not a fountain of youth. Experience at its best teaches the art of the possible - "We can do this; we've done it before." Or, "I've seen that move before and I know how to counter it."

There's an old saying that "good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment." Sad, but sometimes true. If you can continue to learn, adapt and overcome, you're well on your way to success through experience. If you need an experienced counsel on your side, we at Hackard Law can provide it. We're proud to serve our clients and protect their interests. Call us at 916-313-3030.

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