Peak Performance Episode 57 – Practice…The Most Overlooked Aspect of Being Successful

In his bestselling book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell describes how it takes roughly 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert at something.  Yet, most of us don’t even come close to practicing our craft at that level.  In our view, practice is the most overlooked aspect of being a peak performer.  High achievement is a combination of talent, lots or practice, and lots of preparation.  Success is never random.  It comes from doing very specific things over and over and not everyone is willing to put in the effort, personally or professionally.

Whether or not innate talent exists is something that we can debate.  We happen to believe that there is some sort of innate talent.  That being said, there is absolutely no way around hard work and practice, no matter your level of innate talent.  Practice gives us precious knowledge and skill.
Often times we lose sight of practicing the basic fundamentals of our chosen field and sometimes find ourselves looking for the magic formula that will instantly give us the results we’re seeking.  Or sometimes we believe we’re above practicing and no longer need to work at something.

It’s not only practice that we need.  To get the results you want, practice needs to be intentional, aimed at improving performance, designed for your current skill level, and able to provide you immediate feedback.

What we’re discussing is known as “deliberate practice”.  The quality of your practice is just as important as the quantity of practice.  To benefit from practice, you have to constantly challenge yourself.

Deliberate practice meets certain conditions:

–    You must be motivated to attend to the task and exert the proper effort.
–    The design of the practice should reflect your current skill level yet challenge you at the same time.
–    You should receive immediate feedback from practice.
–    You should repeatedly perform the same or similar tasks.

We’ve found that motivation becomes the biggest constraint to expertise.  You must find the internal motivation to continue on.  Deliberate practice isn’t always fun but it is definitely what you need to reach your highest levels of performance.

For full episode, listen here!

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