Fastcompany magazine blogged on becoming an expert, in a similar vain to my previous Gretzky "field sense" post. You can read the Fast Company blog, or be lazy and read these excerpts.
"According to the HBR article, it’s not a high IQ, one’s gender or a God-given talent that makes you a top surgeon, actor, writer, computer programmer, musician...and you name it. The only innate differences that are at all significant, according to the article, are height and body size – and they matter primarily in sports. What truly makes the difference is intense practice.
And, by intense practice, don’t think you can become a real expert in a month’s or even a year’s time. As the HBR article puts it:
'The journey to truly superior performance is neither for the faint of heart nor for the impatient. The development of genuine expertise requires struggle, sacrifice and honest often painful self-assessment. There are no shortcuts. It will take you at least a decade to achieve expertise, and you will need to invest that time wisely, by engaging in ‘deliberate’ practice – practice that focuses on tasks beyond your current level of competence and comfort.' "