It is that time of year. I am going to set goals for 2020. How can you maximize your success toward these
Deliberate Practice: Stop + Struggle + Make Errors + Learn is the key to developing any performance success.
The best way to understand the concept of deliberate practice is to do it. Take a few seconds to look at the
following lists; spend the same amount of time on each one.
- ocean / breeze bread / b_tter
- leaf / tree music /l_rics
- sweet / sour sh_e / sock
- movie / actress phone / bo_k
- gasoline / engine chi_s / salsa
- high school / college pen_il / paper
- turkey / stuffing river / b_at
- fruit / vegetable be_r / wine
- computer / chip television / rad_o
- chair / couch l_nch / dinner
Now look away from the lists. Without looking, try to remember as many of the word pairs as you can.
From which column do you recall more words? If you’re like most people, it won’t even be close: you will
remember more of the words in column B, the ones that contained fragments. Studies show you’ll remember
three times as many. It’s as if, in those few seconds, your memory skills suddenly sharpened. If this had been a
test, your column B score would have been 300 percent higher.
Deliberate practice is built on a paradox:
- Struggling in certain targeted ways—operating at the edges of your ability.
- Where you make mistakes—makes you smarter.
- Experiences where you’re forced to slow down, make errors, and correct them.
An experiment by psychologist Henry Roediger at Washington University of St. Louis.
Students were divided into two groups to study a natural history text.
- Group A studied the paper for four sessions.
- Group B studied only once but was tested three times.
- A week later both groups were tested,
-Group B scored 50 percent higher than Group A.
-They’d studied one-fourth as much yet learned far more.
The trick is to choose a goal just out of reach, not out of sight. A goal just beyond our present abilities; to target
- Thrashing blindly doesn’t help.
- Reaching does.
Deliberate Practice is built on three simple facts:
1. Every human movement, thought, or feeling is a precisely timed electric signal traveling through a
chain of neurons—a circuit of nerve fibers.
2. Myelin is the insulation that wraps these nerve fibers and increases signal strength, speed, and
3. The more we fire a particular circuit, the more myelin optimizes that circuit, and the stronger, faster,
and more fluent our movements and thoughts become.
If you want to get better faster, “target your struggle” toward your goals. And have a GREAT 2020 of great
Onward and Upward,