I describe practice as a meta-skill. Meta means over or above, thus this means it’s a skill set over and above other skills.
Basically, if you get good at “practicing” you can apply that to anything.
If you get good at lifting weights you may only be good at lifting weights.
If you get good at playing chess you may only be good at playing chess.
If you get good at playing the accordion you may only be good at playing the accordion.
But if you get good at PRACTICING you can apply this to anything!
I don’t know about you, but I have lots of things I’d like to be good at. Right now I’m actively working on a number of skills, and not just strength related.
And it doesn’t have to take 10000 hours to be good at something. Far from it. Good enough can be as simple as 10 hours…especially when you know how to properly practice. I like to break it down like so:
10000 hours – World Class, Elite, Highest Level
1000 hours – Great and Amazing, Probably Can Make a Career
100 hours – Good, Probably Enough to Wow Most People
10 hours – Better than the Average Person who knows Nothing on the Subject
In my new book I focus on strength and other qualities of movement.
And in some ways these are harder than most other skills. You have this pesky things called physical fatigue and recovery that can get in the way.
And with any specific skill set there will be certain ways you specifically apply the principles of good practice, that may look at little different than other skill sets.
Today I practiced:
- Muscle control especially of the abdominals and scapula.
- Freestanding handstand pushups.
- One arm chin-ups.
- The kettlebell snatch.
- Side splits.
- Dragon flags.
And that’s just the “physical skills”.
Some of the other skills I worked on, or will be working on tonight include:
- Memorizing a random deck of cards in order (its great practice for your visualization skills).
- Writing (not only did I write this email to you but two other articles and more of my next book).
- Being able to notice more subtle physiological cues in people.
- And so on…
I don’t write this to say how wonderful I am. I’m just a regular human being. Its just that I made a decision and have followed through in action to become anything but “regular”. But I’m still human.
So while I pride myself on being productive and skillful its not like every moment is spent that way. There’s a good chance I’ll “practice” watching TV tonight a little bit as well.
As Aristotle said:
If you want to get good at anything you gotta practice.
And if you want to become good at many things you gotta practice practicing.
So the question I ask you is what did you practice?