Do you want to be the best at what you do?
According to Malcolm Gladwell in his book, Outliers it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become world-class in any field.
Time spent practicing is definitely important to get to mastery level, but you can speed up the process by practicing the right way.
Here are 4 steps used by experts to speed up their learning:
1) GET UNCOMFORTABLE
You learn best when you are stretched to the edge of your ability. In your practice, you should be reaching, making mistakes, failing, realizing those mistakes and adjusting again.
2) COMMIT TO THE LONG TERM
The question that is the most predictive to skill is, "How long are you going to be doing this?". Commitment is the difference maker. If you can combine commitment with deliberate practice at the edge of your ability, your skills will improve drastically. Commit to the long haul and don't give up!
3) GET A ROLE MODEL
One of the most powerful things you can do is watch how somebody works that is already successful at what you're wanting to do. STUDY THE BEST TO BE THE BEST. You'll be surprised to see that a lot of the most successful will have similar habits. Also, if you can pick the brain of somebody who's been on the journey you're setting out on, they can help you speed up the learning curve and guide you to avoid some of the mistakes they made along the way.
4) WRITE STUFF DOWN
Top performers set goals, track progress, reflect and learn from their mistakes. You can use a notebook to do all of this!!
If you only take two things from this post, take these two.
1. REACH -always push yourself to the edge of your ability.
2. EMULATE - look at those better than you and try to find out why they are better and emulate their habits.
You weren't born a master at anything. It comes with TIME + PRACTICE. Decide what it is that you want to master and commit to long term mastery!
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