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June 9, 2018

Deliberate Practice

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I want to set straight a theory that has been mentioned in a few different places, and share why and how it can be best incorporated into your activity. The theory is called Deliberate Practice, and was first introduced by Anders Ericcson in his book, Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise. Deliberate Practice is essentially the process required to become a master at something.  

This theory is in contention with the 10,000 hours rule shared by Malcolm Gladwell in his equally impressive book, Outliers. The key difference between the two lies in focusing on the quality of the practice, not the quantity.  

Ultimately, the key differences in deliberate practice come down to 5 things. The first one is motivation. You must have the desire to get better.  Second is setting a plan of specific and realistic goals that progress in difficulty. Third is to practice at an intensity beyond your comfort zone. Fourth is consistent and prolonged effort.  And the firth one is receiving immediate feedback, so that you can apply the necessary changes right away.  

The best example used in the book was how Steve Faloon went from being able to memorize 7 numbers at a time to remembering 82 numbers through deliberate practice. Not only is this an effective method, but it pushes people beyond perceived human limits!

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