Deliberate Practice – 9900 hours to go

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It’s said that 10,000 hours of deliberate practice is required to master anything. So if you did roughly three hours a day, every day (OK, one day off), it would take you approximately 10 years to reach mastery. Let that sink in. In this day and age of instant gratification, that is multiple lifetimes.

Note, it is deliberate practice that is required. This means you have to do more than simple repetitions, you must also be focused and mindful of the task at hand.

The concept of “10,000 hours” was popularized by Malcom Gladwell in his book “Outliers – the secret to success”.

It is easy to make something a habit or reflex through repetition, but is that action the best it can be? The crux of the matter is quality over quantity.

“The right sort of practice carried out over a sufficient period of time leads to improvement. Nothing else.” – Anders Ericsson

Rest and recuperation is also an important part of the recuperation. I think many of us have experienced working until will drop. The quality of our actions, output, work degrades quite quickly after a certain period. It is the best execution of our actions that we want to burn into our neural pathways, because as science has shown, neurons the fire together wire together.

What requires the most attention in our deliberate practice is our week points. It is these that hold us back or let us down. This means moving beyond your comfort zone.

“Purposeful practice requires getting out of one’s comfort zone. This is perhaps the most important part of purposeful practice.” – Anders Ericsson

We need to set goals or targets and then keep track or score of our progress towards them. To do so requires brutally honest self assessment. But often we can not see our own blind spots, thus we may have the need of a coach, mentor or master.

Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work.

So, I guess I have another 9900 odd hours of intentional practice to do.

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