The Undeniable Rules You Must Follow To Be Great At Anything

You have likely heard of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the most famous musicians in history. His legend began at 7 years old, as he toured Europe playing a variety of instruments at an advanced level.
The secret of his success, according to his father, was that he had 'perfect pitch', meaning he could immediately identify any note played on just about any instrument.
Surely this was a gift he was born with, right?
In 2014, Japanese psychologist Ayako Sakakibara tried to replicate this feat by trying to teach 24 kids, ages two to six, the ability to demonstrate perfect pitch just like Mozart.
Less than two years later, every single one of those 24 kids had developed perfect pitch.
So are we born with certain talents, or are they developed?
The leading researcher on talent development, Dr Anders Ericsson, says that the gift we are born with is not some specific skill, but rather our ability through proper practice to develop almost any skill.
We all have this gift, and we can develop it under the right conditions.
To do so, you need to have three critical ingredients.
Internal Drive. Although the atmosphere you train in can be fun and uplifting, the actual work you must put in is far from enjoyable. It will be frustrating at times, because you'll fail often when constantly working on the edge of your current ability.
Plus, it will take many, many years to bring out your full talent. Only those who truly desire a certain outcome are going to be willing to stay dedicated long enough to be great.
This drive has to come from you. No one else can motivate you to push through everything it takes to excel if you don't want it yourself.
Extreme Focus. Putting in the time gets you nowhere if you are not fully immersed in the work you're putting in.
The reason is that for the practice time to bring you to a higher level you must form 'mental representations' of what you are doing.
This is partly like the visualization we covered in last week's post, but it also involves devising strategies and connections to information.
In any field, from athletics to music to memorizing information, those who create better mental representations learn faster, and in turn improve faster.
This is why our kids have to put up with me barking at them during key learning moments if they are talking and out of focus!
Without this key ingredient, the work you're putting in loses almost all of its value.
Proper Coaching. Ericsson differentiates Purposeful Practice, which has the first two ingredients only, from Dedicated Practice that is guided by a knowledgeable instructor.
Purposeful practice only takes you so far, because it is the instructor who helps you create the right mental representations to achieve elite success.
At various points along the way you may need different coaches to get you to the next step.
For example, you may have a high school coach that teaches you the finer points of a critical sports skill, but when you later get drafted to the pros you'll need an expert at that level to guide you through more advanced tactics.
Those who blend these three things, over a long enough period of time, are bound to excel.
Says Ericsson:
"Deliberate practice is for everyone who dreams.
It's for all those people who want to take control of their future and create their own potential, not buying into the idea that right here, right now is as good as it gets."
If you are a basketball fan It may surprise you to learn that former Boston Celtic Ray Allen, a 10-time NBA All-Star and the best 3-point shooter in history, was actually a poor shooter in high school.
Allen once heard an announcer say that he was born with an incredible shooting touch, and was not happy about that comment:
"When people say I was blessed with a beautiful jump shot, it really pisses me off.
I tell those people to stop discounting the work I put in every day.
Not some days.
EVERY day."
The key to your greatness lies in how driven you are to put in the work, how strong the mental representations you form are, and how good your instruction is.

Build Your Skills One Step At A Time

Request information

Request Information Now!

Personal Training near Leominster

Let us e-mail you this Free Report