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Resources:: Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
2022-05-01 | 04:33
What does deliberate practice mean?
Deliberate practice is doing something that is hard repeatedly in a systematic way repeatedly.
It is what makes an average athlete into an excellent athlete, an average student into an excellent student, and so on.
Is it for everyone?
In some way or form yes, it is for everyone who is trying to improve in whatever that they are trying to improve in, whether it be gaming or doing math, deliberate is sure to be helpful for everyone.
Why would you want to do it more often?
Like Angela Duckworth explained in her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance - why passion and resilience are the secrets of success. That Skill x Effort = Achievement, which is so simple to understand yet, most of us never do.
If you have a skill or, as some might like to call it, talent, the more effort you add into improving that talent is proportional to how far you can go with it.
A few days ago, I decided to finally learn how to solve a 3x3 cube. Without ever knowing or having any idea of how to solve one, I decided to dive into this and solve one. All I knew was that it involves a few algorithms that if done correctly will solve the cube.
So finally, looking up on YouTube, I learned to solve the cube. The very first time was as hard as it could be. I could not follow any of the steps, even when following the steps and playing the video at 0.25x I could not solve it. It was a proper disaster.
It took more than an hour to finally solve it for the first time. But, guess what, this was all I needed to get an idea of how hard it would be to solve one.
The very next time, I could do it in 20 minutes. The next time in 10. And if you’re thinking that this is what deliberate practice looks like, that you’re partially right. Yes, I’m a newbie when it comes to cubing and yes, I didn’t have any idea what I was doing.
But the more I solved the cube, the more things I started to notice about my hand movements. The small gestures and how I should be moving my fingers to solve them more efficiently.
If you ever see some of the pros solving a cube, you’d be amazed at the speed these guys can solve the cube. It’s almost as if their fingers are moving on their own in an amazing, systematic rhythm.
This is a pure example of deliberate practice. This is why some people excel more than others are able to do.
Doing a little bit of deliberate practice each day will take you way further than mindlessly practicing and not paying attention to improving specific parts that might be holding you back from getting to the next level.
How to do your daily deliberate practice?
You need to make a plan on how you practice your art in the most efficient way.
Firstly, you should focus on making a routine, not having a routine is the biggest silent killer of your potential. Having a healthy routine that helps you set the right pace will do wonders for your practice time in the long run.
Forming a routine that helps maintain a schedule of deliberate practice.
Timing your routine
To make sure that you get enough deliberate practice each day, should try to do the same thing in the same place at the same time of the day.
For example, if you are trying to write a paper, doing it in the same place every day at a specific time of the day would help create a habitual routine that's so necessary for deliberate practice.
Knowing each day that you need to work on your paper at 4pm in your study room each day would almost become a routine in no time if you stick to it.
Work on specifics
The second most important part of deliberate practice is to work on a specific thing and record your progress. This specific thing would most likely be something that you’re not good at and are trying to improve.
E.g., if you find that while writing your paper you get stuck on a specific topic or equation then, this is something that needs improvement. After identifying what is holding you back, you can try to work on the same thing again and again until it becomes easier for you to do it.
At first, it won’t be fun to work on something that feels really hard. You’d feel lost and might think of giving up but, this is what exactly deliberate practice is trying to solve for you. You won't be finding any Flow State here.
It's trying to make you better at things that might be poor at. So you can push your limits and move to the next level of performance, recognizing what holds you back and working on it will make you better at it.
With deliberate practice applied correctly every day, you can see better performance improvements in a short amount of time.
You will see bigger leaps in your performance as you keep doing it every day. Is it fun, of course not, but does it get the job done? Of course, a big yes!
It can be very frustrating to start with this in the beginning as your system might not be used to it, being uncomfortable is not comfortable for most of us. Although with time, the feeling of being uncomfortable would subside as you start seeing the performance gains from this kind of practice.
Deliberate Practice vs. Flow
Will it ever be comfortable? It’s a No!
If it starts getting comfortable then it’s not deliberate practice, it’s more like getting in a ‘flow’ state. A flow state is a state where you’d feel like you’re performing at a high level with minimal effort.
This state is very intoxicating, as you might feel like everything is effortless and happening at the right moment, that your mind is at its limit but, you’re feeling amazing at the same time.
Flow state and deliberate practice are obviously not the same but, having more sessions of deliberate practice will surely help you get in your flow state more often.
When your mind becomes used to pushing each day, every day. You start to see small improvements that add up over time. These small improvements eventually help you perform at your optimal when you’re not pushing yourself. Making it easier for you to get into a flow state often.
Deliberate practice is not a fun thing that you’d get excited about after you first start doing it but, it is definitely something that will make you better at your craft. Whether it is a sport or related to studies, deliberate practice will help you eke out your problems and make you stronger at your craft.
Giving it a try involves nothing more than some time and mindfulness to record and solve the issues that hold you back.
Related Books for Deliberate Practice
- Deep work
- The practicing mind
- The art of learning
- The talent code