The Monday Mindset: Deliberate Practice
“We’re taking about practice..” This is an infamous Allen Iverson quote as he’s being grilled by media reporters about practice. Today, we’re going to talk about practice — the deliberate kind. Practice, simply put, is about the progression to the goal, or the journey behind the goal. We learn more about ourselves while we’re on the road that leads us to the finish line than from actually crossing it. Lets use the boxing stories of Rocky Balboa as an example. We all know that the Rock is going to be triumphant in the end, but it’s his journey that we are all inspired by, its what gives the goal meaning. What were the better habits that cumulated over the time it took to complete your first pull-up? What improvements did you make about your day to day to loose your first 10 pounds? Did you prioritize your day differently so you could make it to your 6am group session? Now, this is all building better habits which will lead to more sustainable results, but more importantly it’s practice with a deliberate focus on improvement.
Deliberate practice involves stepping outside your comfort zone and trying activities beyond your current abilities. While repeating a skill you've already mastered might be satisfying, it's not enough to help you get better. Simply wanting to improve isn't enough — people also need well-defined goals and the help of a teacher who makes a plan for achieving them.
When we begin to notice and name the changes we’ve successfully made during our journey, the goal becomes clearer. Within the progression that we’ve made we begin to believe that even though sometimes life will get in the way, and we fail (sometimes again and again), and progress is delayed, that we can still be successful within our failures.
The journey and the “why” is NOT about perfection, it is about progress, deliberate practice towards a goal. Fall, pick yourself up and fall again. Because without this struggle, what is your success anyways? Don't let the fear of failure, or lack of perfection stop you from what is going to make you great. We can’t succeed without the risk of failure. This is us living outside of our comfort zone where progression lives, and where our goals will be found.