2 Powerful Truths about Practice

There’s a myth about highly talented people—that they are simply born that way.

But in reality, you reach your potential when you are willing to practice. And not just practice often, but practice effectively.

That’s because you play to the level at which you practice. Consistently good practice leads to consistently good play. Successful leaders understand this, and they apply it.

The thing that lifts successful leaders above the crowd can be summed up in four words: a little bit more. Successful leaders pay their dues by doing all that is expected of them—plus a little bit more.

Can you guess where the “little bit more” happens?

In practice!

These two essential truths about practice will impact the way you approach it today:

1. Practice enables development.

Practice is where old skills are refined and new skills are acquired. In practice, the tension between where we are and where we ought to be propels us forward. In order to be successful, we must first buy into the reality that practice enables development.

2. Practice demands discipline.

Talent is not a matter of conditions; it is a matter of choice. Once the choice is made and practice becomes a habit, two things become obvious: 1) a separation between the person who practices and the one who doesn’t, and 2) a winning spirit emerges. The harder you work, the harder it becomes to surrender.

To sharpen your talent through practice, you not only need to be open to change, you need to pursue change.

  • Don’t change just enough to get away from your problems—change enough to solve them.
  • Don’t change your circumstances to improve your life—change yourself to improve your circumstances.
  • Don’t do the same old things expecting to get different results—get different results by doing something new.
  • Don’t see change as something hurtful that must be done—see it as something helpful that should be done.
  • Don’t avoid paying the immediate price of change—if you do, you will pay the ultimate price of never improving.

Successful leaders practice! They practice harder, longer, and more effectively than unsuccessful leaders do.

To sharpen your talent you must first improve your practice. Here are 5 questions that will help you:

  1. What specifically are you trying to improve?
  2. What does your best look like?
  3. What changes can you make to give yourself more freedom to fail while improving your talent?
  4. What are you willing to sacrifice to reach this next level?
  5. What is the “little bit more” you will start doing today?

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