Alright on the night

If you don’t practice, it’s not very likely to be. Doing something for real is likely to be the best practice if the stakes aren’t too high, and if you’re likely to get enough goes at it. But if you can’t practise “in the wild,” consider a dress rehearsal, where everything is as close to possible as the real thing.…

Five in a row

You’ve started practising*, tried fifty, and hit some. Now keep going until you stick five in a row. Then ten. If you can do ten times in a row you’re a drop, skip and a jump away from being able to do it “reliably,” and mastery can’t be far behind. *I think it might be time for British English to…

Try 50

In the light of Jonny Giger, why not take that discouragingly difficult thing you’re trying to learn* and commit to attempting it fifty times in a row? I made it to fifty far faster than I expected, and ended up stopping at 105, with ten successes. *That piece of sporting/writing/culinary/musical/artistic/technical prowess.

Not easy but possible: Jonny Giger, repetition and persistence

It’s time to revisit the mother of skill – this time in the world of skateboarding. Jonny Giger is – according to some – the best flat ground skater in the world, and by any measure very, very good (here’s a good sample). What I like about JG is that he makes it look easy, but shows and tells us…

The practice school

This is the PRACTICE school of writing. Like running, the more you do it, the better you get at it. Some days you don’t want to run and you resist every step of three miles, but you do it anyway. You practice whether you want to or not. You don’t wait around for inspiration and a deep desire to run.…

Use it or lose it

In this time of change, what skills and processes are you and your team using more than you used to? What have you stopped doing? If any of the things you’ve stopped doing are going to be important when things go forward (not back) to (the new) normal, find ways to start doing them again. If it’s impossible to do…

John Mark Comer on the ruthless elimination of hurry

As I’ve worked on reading lists and goals for 2020, I’ve been mulling over the shape of (my part in) a flourishing, generous and sustainable life for my family, neighbours and colleagues for the year ahead. This podcast/sermon and its sequels were recommended by a friend at just the right time, and struck a chord with me. You may find…

Seth Godin on perfect vs “good enough”

Now we get to my favourite sneak question… What does perfect look like? I would like you to list, when your project is working perfectly, exactly what is it? – What kind of profit does it have? – Who loves it? – What shape is it? – What colour is it? – What do the reviews say? Whatever is important…

Stories of deliberate practice

Outliers is an excellent place to start. It features the story of Mozart’s “genius” and the Beatle’s “overnight success” told through the lens of the 10,000 hour rule and deliberate practice. (More on Mozart here.) If you don’t feel like buying a book, this article in the New Yorker (also by Gladwell) is another great example. And if you missed…