Power of Practice- Secret sauce to achieve excellence.

Have you seen the movie Karate Kid?

Let me remind you of a famous scene from this movie

A child wants to learn kung fu but his teacher, instead of teaching him moves, asks him to take off his jacket, hang it, then drop it on the ground, pick it up and then wear it.

He does the same for several days. One day, the kid loses patience and declares that he quit because his master doesn’t know kung fu and only cares about the jacket. When he is about to leave, his master asks him one last time to repeat the jacket sequence but this time without the jacket. The kid then finds out that his jacket-on-jacket-off moves were actually kung fu moves.

His master was actually training his muscles and brain so that when the real fight comes up; he’ll have it practiced 1000 times and can do the moves effortlessly. He was creating muscle memory by practicing the jacket sequence.

(I highly encourage you to find the ‘pick up your jacket scene on Youtube)

Now, what do you think happened there? What was the lesson?

The lesson was; POWER OF PRACTICE.

We all have goals that we want to achieve in our lives. These goals may include learning a new language, eating healthier and losing weight, becoming a better parent, saving more money, and so on.

In Thomas Sterner’s book, ‘The Practicing Mind (audiobook)’, he explains:

When we practice something, we are involved in the deliberate repetition of a process with the intention of reaching a specific goal.

Do you know that every single moment you are practicing/ training something — you are rewiring your brain? Neuroplasticity suggests that every time you do something you create new connections or strengthen existing ones.

Every time you watch television, every time you exercise or pick up your phone you are practising doing that thing. You can say that every time you have a thought, do behaviour, or have a feeling, you are practising them. 

A lot of people think that talents, IQ, memory, etc., they are all innate.

Well, not true. Practice anything and you can have that talent.

Ask any artist, athlete, or actor: Practice is the key to remarkable performance.

Practice vs Deliberate Practice

Researcher and senior editor at Fortune magazine, Geoffrey Colvin, differentiates between practice and deliberate practice this way: “Simply hitting a bucket of balls is not deliberate practice, which is why most golfers don’t get better. Continually observing results and making appropriate adjustments, and doing that for hours every day—that’s deliberate practice.”

In other words, deliberate practice requires learning and building on the fruits of that learning.

You can also say here that Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.

But don’t forget: no matter how good you become, you can always get better.

Here are four learning tactics to fuel your practice. They can be applied by anyone who is striving to become a remarkable performer:

READ

Given the unlimited amounts of information available online today there is little justification for anyone not being a reader. What performance do you want to improve? Begin by searching books, magazines, and the internet or anywhere you can find ideas that will help make your performance remarkable.

OBSERVE

There is a big difference between looking and observing. Every waking moment we see people, places, things, and actions. But how many of them do we observe for the purpose of learning from them?
To know more, notice more.

LEARN FROM THE BEST

One of the early legends of speaking, Cavett Robert, used to say in jest, “People say I plagiarize, but if I do, I steal from the very best.

”Who are your mentors—either personal or long-distance? How many videos or DVDs do you study in order to learn from those you admire? What kind of notebook or journal do you keep in which you write down serendipitous lessons learned throughout the day? Learning comes from careful observation, not casual looking.

PLAY

If you think of practicing your craft as “play” rather than “work,” you’ll find the process much more enjoyable. Play is the application of the principles you’ve learned. And play casts failure in a whole new light.

I would like to end by saying that there’s nothing in this world that cannot be done or achieved. Everything can be achieved by the power of practice.

So keep practicing. You can do this!

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