We all have goals in life. Things we want to achieve. In order to succeed, we generally need to get better at something. But how can we do this?
A great way of improving yourself is through deliberate practice!
The key to this type of practice is to get out of your comfort zone — you will feel uncomfortable once you start, but that’s the point. It’s also important to have a specific goal that is measurable — this way you’ll know how much you’re progressing.
I’ll illustrate this with a story: once upon a time there were two young boys who wanted to learn how to play the guitar and one day become famous musicians. They started practising at about the same age and dedicated the same hours per day to their training. They did this for over a decade. At the end of this period, one of them was an average guitar player — able to impress friends and family but far from stardom. The other was a very good guitar player — playing in bands with some of the best musicians and with his first album already released.
Now you ask: what was different about the way they practised? One followed the principles of deliberate practice whereas the other didn’t. While one was always trying to learn new songs, which often meant feeling uncomfortable and struggling, the other would learn a new song and play it repeatedly because that made him feel comfortable.
Care to guess which one was the deliberate practitioner?
So, next time you’re struggling and feeling uncomfortable because you’re trying to learn something new, have the comfort of knowing you’re doing the right thing. Keep going until it no longer feels uncomfortable. Then dive again into discomfort. Repeat until you succeed.
A special thank you to inesvanmuysen for her help and feedback on this story!
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