Golden Visions & Associations
Thought of the Week
Your Success Thought for the Week of October 15, 2008

Deliberate Practice

How do you get really good at something? We’re talking great! What separates the top 5% in any vocation from the rest? Why do some individuals keep soaring, experiencing success after heightened success while others, with the same amount of time invested, simply remain status quo?

The answer is twofold: practice and deliberate practice.

First, we know that practice makes perfect. Arnold Palmer says: “It’s a funny thing, the more I practice, the luckier I get.” It’s not simply practice for the sake of practice; it’s having your heart in it, being deliberate and being smart.

“Not all practice is good practice. That’s why many tasks we perform at work and at home suffer from arrested development. With simple tasks such as driving, golf and tennis, we reach our highest level of proficiency after about 50 hours of practice; then our performance skills become automated. Further development stops. We assume we’ve reached our highest performance level and don’t think to learn new and better methods.” Patterson, et al Influencer, The Power To Change Anything

With many tasks, we stop short of our highest level of proficiency. For example, we learn to give a good ‘technical’ PowerPoint presentation, but don’t take that next step to develop ourselves as savvy presenters. We learn to lead our team to get the job done, but what about leading them to new heights, turning them into visionaries and risk takers?

What turns mere practice into actual improvement of skills is something the authors of Influencer, The Power To Change Anything call ‘deliberate practice.’

Deliberate practice is the realization that as good as you are today, you can become better tomorrow; that you may not know everything today; and, that others can teach you. It is the ongoing passion to learn.

Deliberately seek out courses, conferences, books, teachers, coaches that will engage you and aid in your ‘practice’ to reach that next step. Be present, ask questions, ask for feedback, push yourself, be a player in your ongoing development, not a bystander expecting others to do this for you.

For whatever area you intend to succeed, I invite you to be deliberate. Practice does make perfect. Deliberate practice will take you off the charts. What will you do this week to move in that direction?

Enjoy your discoveries and have a great week!


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