“Deep practice is built on a paradox: struggling in certain targeted ways—operating at the edges of your ability, where you make mistakes—makes you smarter. Or to put it a slightly different way, experiences where you’re forced to slow down, make errors, and correct them—as you would if you were walking up an ice-covered hill, slipping and stumbling as you go—end up making you swift and graceful without your realizing it.”

Daniel Coyle, The Talent Code

Daniel Coyle recommends dropping the watch when you practice. It is not about how much time is spent, it’s how well you spent your time. It’s more than a catchy quote. Deep practice is about ingraining yourself in the process of learning. When mistakes inevitably happen, slowing down to correct your errors and maneuvering better next time helps the practice stick.

The watch is for timed trials, not for deep practice. Deep practice requires failures and mistakes followed by figuring out the why. Why am I failing at this certain point? Then an “A HA” moment comes and you become more graceful through that particular path. Your brain starts to make connections. You become smarter. But if you think of practice as dreadful instead of a magical time to get smarter, inevitably leading to your goals you are in for a lousy time.

Practice deep practice. It’s a skill. Develop your talents through deep practice one at a time. For the next 30 days, focus on something you’ve wanted to do and practice it, even if it’s only for 10 minutes a day. Within the venture you go towards you will develop the discipline that goes with developing a skill. There are many benefits to deep practice that go unseen.

Discipline

Consistency

Developing the skill of hard work

Commitment

Habit

Feelings of accomplishment

Examine what it is you want to do and begin practicing, if only for a few minutes a day. Share this with someone who could use it today. Make today great!

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