Dan McLaughlin

 Photo Credit: Oregonlive

Photo Credit: Oregonlive

Owner of The Dan Plan: A Journey to see how far Practice can take you later in life.

Dan is an average man by most standards. When The Dan Plan began, he was a 30-year-old commercial photographer not in particularly good physical condition. Dan is slightly under average height and weight, had never played a full 18 holes of golf, and had only been to a driving range a handful of times. He was not even sure if he was a left-or right-handed golfer.

Dan is on a mission to prove, by dedicating 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to a completely new field of expertise, that nothing is impossible in life.

My personal practice is…….

Spending 10,000 hours of practice going from having never played the game of golf to a PGA Tour pro.

How did you discover your practice?

Through the research of Dr. K. Anders Ericsson.  The idea of my practice is that with 10,000 hours of deliberate practice anyone can reach the pinnacle of their pursuit.

Why do you practice?

For me, I practice to prove to myself, and anyone interested in following along, that talent is simply the ability of sticking to your goals and anything in life is truly possible.

How frequently and for how long do you practice?

I practice for about 30 hours a week averaged out over the seven days.  A typical practice session lasts between four to six hours.

What’s something that gets in the way of your practice and how to you move through it?

Life happens all the time and there are always aspects or reasons that one cannot practice, although there is a way to move through it and make sure your practice/passions have a way to continue the path forward.  The trick is figuring out how to make that happen and how to find a balance in life.

Photo Credit:  Holly Andres/Time Magazine

Photo Credit: Holly Andres/Time Magazine

What supports you in staying committed to your practice?

Internal motivation is the best way to stay committed.  When you are out there on your own day by day there are normally no external incentives to keep the path moving forward and you have to draw from the passions inside.

What role does your practice play in your work?

My work is my practice so every day when I go to work it is 100 percent about practicing and continuing to push forward.

Describe someone you know whose practice inspires you.

Anyone and everyone from professional athletes to Warren Buffett.  There is an entire world of people who have broken the mold and pushed themselves to a level previously thought impossible.  Personally, I love the life story of Reinhold Messner.

A practice I’d like to explore is….

A practice I would love to spend more time exploring is the idea of interleaving practice.  The idea is to mix and match practice in order to not block your sessions into any one specific goal, but to mix up your session to increase the overall exposure.

Anything else you’d like to share about practice.

To track Dan’s progress towards 10,000 hours of practice, visit The Dan Plan.