July 4, 2014

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It’s Takes Passion, Focus and Right Actions Over Time to Master Anything

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I remembering reading what Malcolm Gladwell wrote in his book, Outliers, regarding 10,000 hours of practice is needed to master anything.  While hard work over a given amount of time helps, it’s not the main reason why a person masters something.  Simply repeating an action over and over won’t lead to expert status anymore than a fly will get through a glass window by flying into it 10,000 times.

A study released last year looked at the difference between chess experts, ones who reached mastery level and those that only reach intermediate level.  Both groups did deliberate practice over 10,000 hours, yet some rose higher than others. While the study didn’t discover other aspects that could have shown the differences, it did conclude it takes more than practice.

While not scientific, in my opinion those that reach mastery also had a certain amount of grit and made adjustments.  When I first studied the martial arts I realized that what worked for one person didn’t work for me.  I learned to make adjustments.  Eventually I was able to master what I studied over a given amount of time.

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There are other things that need to be considered as well. When first studied the martial arts I was really young. My mother put a stick in my hand at 18 months old and showed me how to do Kendo. From there I went onto to study karate while living in Okinawa. Had I started as an adult, I believe that the connections in my brain would not have had an easy time learning as I did as a child. So, the earlier one starts, the better. If you already have a foundation in a certain area, then it becomes easier to learn further in similar areas.

I was also passionate about learning the martial arts.  Passion and enthusiasm are factors that keep one going, even when things get tough.  Will it overcome everything as one moves towards mastery?  Probably not.  Staying focused in another key.

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We live in a world of distractions.  If you’re constantly bouncing from this to that, then mastery will become more difficult. Focused concentration seems to be steadily declining in today’s world. Those that want to master any skill will need to be more focused. Success comes to those that are focused on their goals and it’s the same for mastery.

Being focused will allow you to see opportunities that will help to improve your skills.

While Gladwell and others talk about hard work over 10,000 hours is needed to master anything, we now know it’s not necessarily true.  It takes right actions added to the mix.  Just because you’re doing something, doesn’t mean what you’re doing it right.

There are many ways you can accelerate your goals towards mastering a skill…

  • Make sure you’re passionate about what you’re doing. If you feel it’s part of your life’s purpose, then it becomes easier to master.
  • Have fun like a child.  You’ll learn much faster when you find joy in what you’re doing rather than making it a chore.
  • Find the right master. Whenever I wanted to master something or simply get better at what I was doing, I would search for the right person to help me get there.  The better the person, the better I will eventually reach mastery.
  • Learn at the beginner’s level. If you bring in stuff from other areas to the area you want to start learning, then mastering it will be more daunting.  Drop the junk first.
  • Don’t be impatient.  Instead, keep focused over time.  Time matters and mastery is never developed overnight.
  • Focus on using your strengths.  Don’t let the opinions of others derail you.  You’ll do better by staying true to you.
  • Practice, practice, practice…. The right way!

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Mastery over time will happen as long as you stick with it.  Strive each day to give your best effort.  That is important.  I wish you success as you move towards mastery.

Cheers,

Bob Choat, “Transformational Master Black Belt” Black_belt.svg-sm
America’s #1 Mind-Body Transformation Expert and author of Mind Your Own Fitness

Reference:

David Z. Hambrick, et. al. “Deliberate practice: Is that all it takes to become an expert?” Intelligence 45 (2013) 34-45 DOI: 10.1016/j.intell.2013.04.001

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July 3, 2014

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Finding Meaning in Your Workouts to Help Sustain Growth

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For many years I’ve talked about finding your “reason why” for exercising. This has worked pretty well for many people. Yet, one’s reason why is still superficial. Sure, losing weight to attend your high school reunion is a goal to go after. It’s simply not sustainable. Viktor E. Frankl described his book, Man’s Search for […]

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July 1, 2014

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Going From External Chaos to Self-Awareness to Gain Health

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My life was not always healthy and fit. There was a time when I was focused on business and making money.  External things became a way of life for me.  I was lost.  I put on some unhealthy weight.  Stress and anxiety was my norm.  Prior to those days I was more focused on my […]

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June 29, 2014

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Your Emotional-Physical State and Map Leads to the Decisions You Make

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Alfred Korzybski came up with the idea of one’s mental map and how it leads to our behaviors.  He explained that “the map is not the territory.”  This concept became a foundation for various therapies, including rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT) and neurolinguistic programming (NLP).  Each of us has a map that represents our reality.  […]

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June 26, 2014

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Getting Fit is Not a “Someday” Process…

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Some of my friends have told me that someday they will get fit. One of them specifically said that she needs a better place to live. Another said that he doesn’t have the money for a gym membership. Still another mentioned that she has no time to workout. Someday each of them may get fit. […]

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June 24, 2014

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The Five Pillars to Effective Learning

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As I’ve grown older my desire to learn has increased.  Learning to me is living.  When I say learn, it’s not the accumulation of knowledge.  More important is the practical application of the knowledge which I’ve gathered.  That is learning (or know-how).  Until and unless I’ve grasped that concept, then I haven’t learned anything. There […]

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June 22, 2014

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Taking Control of Your Mental State in Order to Win!

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I watched the U.S. Women’s Open Golf Championship today and Michelle Wei winning her first major championship. In fact, for women in golf, this is the top championship. At the 16th hole Michelle Wei had a double boggie. Prior that she had a comfortable 3 shot lead over runner-up Stacy Lewis. Going into the 17th […]

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June 20, 2014

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Bringing Back the Human Side in Tools, Technology and Life

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Most of my life I’ve been into techie stuff.  I simply love new technology and the wonders they bring.  Today it seems that there’s a new thing that has come about. Technology is advancing ever faster.  I remember when the first calculators came out. Prior to that I was using a slide rule or abacus […]

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June 17, 2014

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Four Pillars to True Happiness

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Happiness is something many people strive for in life. The problem is that happiness should not be somewhere out there. The more you search for happiness, the less you’ll find of it. Other than having enough money to live comfortably, happiness is pretty much an internal factor. I’ve already mentioned quite a bit about happiness […]

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June 15, 2014

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3 Keys to Mental Mastery

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The greatest of the great were able to master their minds before mastering anything else. Whether it came from a belief about themselves or some other source, they still had control. What made Muhammad Ali great as a boxer wasn’t his skills. It was his belief and his mental control. I know that many people […]

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