Day #412: How to become Good at Something

Sure you can be good with a little effort.  You can be really good with a little more effort.  But you can’t be great, at anything, unless you put in an incredible amount of focused effort for a set amount of time every day.  It’s as simple as that.  

Scratch the surface of any successful person with incredible skills and you’ll find someone who has put thousands of hours of effort into developing those skills.  There are no shortcuts in life.  There are no overnight successes.  Almost everyone has heard about the 10,000 hours principle, which states that it takes roughly 10,000 hours to completely master a complex skill, yet despite sound evidence, so few follow it… except extremely successful people of course.

However, it is important to note that the way in which you practice is much more important than how much you practice. Without something known as deliberate practice you’re likely to plateau quickly, get frustrated, and give up.

Expertise isn’t an absolute. Think of it as a scale, from 1 to 10. If you’re a 3, there are plenty of 1s and 2s out there who you can teach, and probably better than people with more expertise.

Whatever you decide to do, do it well.  Do it so well that when others see you do it, they enjoy it so much that they want to come back and see you do it again… and they also want to bring their friends along so they can show them how incredible you are at doing what you do.

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