Anders Ericsson uses a great analogy in the book to help us understand the importance of deliberate practice...
You wish to climb a mountain. You're not sure how high you want to go - that peak looks an awfully long way off - but you know you want to get higher than you currently are. You could simply take off on whichever path looks promising and hope for the best, but you're probably not going to get very far. Or you could rely on a guide who has been to the peak and knows the best way there. That will guarantee that no matter how high you decide to climb, you are doing it in the most efficient, effective way. That best way is deliberate practice, and this book is your guide. It will show you the path to the peak; how far you travel along that path is up to you.
I love this analogy because it's so true. How many of us just "wing it" each day? We are satisfied with being "good enough". Rather than focusing on a specific skill to deliberately practice today, we just keep doing the same things, the same way, and getting the same results.
Deliberate practice is the opposite of "good enough". It's a commitment to consistently get a little bit better each day. It's about taking ownership of your own learning and development and doing so in the most effective and efficient way possible. Learning the principles of deliberate practice is like the old saying..."Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
Constantly developing your skills has never been more important in today's society. It's not a luxury anymore. It's a requirement for individuals and organizations to survive.
To understand the importance of deliberate practice, it's essential to know where we came from...
A few decades ago, most people believed that we were born with certain gifts. Personality, athleticism, sales-ability, leadership, etc...and the list goes on. These are just a few qualities that many people believed were innate (i.e. they couldn't really be changed). Now it's true that some people are blessed with advantageous genetics, but that is simply the starting line. Not the finish line.
We marvel at the accomplishments of the best athletes, entrepreneurs, and leaders, and convince ourselves that they are so special because they are so talented. But the best of the best aren't so special because of their genetics. There are plenty of talented people that never reach their potential.
The best athletes/leaders/etc are special because they have mastered the greatest skill of all...the ability to constantly develop their skills.
They never wake up and say "I'm good enough". They are in constant pursuit of getting better at something. They embrace the challenges. Seek feedback. Take ownership of their learning and developing. And practice a growth mindset.
So how far will you go up that mountain? Well that's up to you. But learning and applying the principles of deliberate practice will ensure you progress in the most efficient and effective way possible.
In part 3 we will cover the 4 steps to apply deliberate practice.
So join the party, get in the FLOW, and enjoy the book review posts about the book, Peak, and deliberate practice!