I wrote a blog recently about the value of just showing up and I think it’s a very important concept. So much of what we do, the value of what we get, and how quickly we are able to improve, is just consistency, grinding it out, and making sure that you get your repetitions in. Whether it’s a new skill you’re learning, a sport, a hobby, or an intellectual pursuit, just showing up is such an integral part of the battle.
The other night I had a really interesting discussion with a couple different people. We were talking about how two people doing the exact same thing can have vastly different experiences and results. For example, say these two people are both in a room doing, let’s say 2500 squats. Why is it that during the last 500 reps each person does, one person seems to get more value than the other person? I believe it’s the determination to make every single repetition count, especially in the final stretch when fatigue or boredom normally kicks in and decrease the quality in the later reps. It takes the right mentality to be able to stay in the moment. It’s important when you’re practicing each repetition of whatever the activity it is that you’re trying to perfect, that you’re solely focused on improving that particular thing. Every time you do a rep of something you need to be completely aware of the physical and mental aspects of each repetition. As Vince Lombardi said, “Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.” Practice without a constant commitment to perfection in each rep is meaningless in pursuit of mastery over a subject. This commitment to making the most out of every repetition is the big key if you want to take it up to the next level. More than just showing up and grinding out the hard work is necessary if you want to reach your goal faster and potentially push even further. It takes developing the ability to stay in the moment and truly focus on the activity at hand. I think this is a key ingredient to being able to truly maximize your potential. I’m curious to what other people think and what their approaches are to developing skills faster whether it’s juggling, learning how to write some type of code, or any other type of activity. What do you believe to be successful mechanisms for getting the benefit of practice in a shorter period of time?