Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What are you doing to get better?

When I look around and see many people who achieved greatness, they seem to share a few things in common.  Dedication, passion for what they do, and persistence are there to name a few.  In addition all those who achieved mastery seem to do one thing very well.  That is practice.

It's not any practice.  They ask the following question, and then practice to master the craft.

How do I get better at what I'm doing?

Asking this question seems to be at the core of achieving greatness.  Masters always ask themselves how to improve their skills.  Then make efforts to get better at it.  They expend their attention to consciously practice the area where they want to get better.

It's important for a few reasons.

1. Objectively evaluate where they stand and where they want to be.

Unless you know where you are, it's difficult to measure whether you are progressing or regressing.  The measurement should be objectively quantifiable so that there should be no doubt as to what you want to improve.

2. It tells the story, hence gives purpose to the practice.

Once you know where you are and where you want to be, you have a clear goal in your view.  You know where you want to be and can visualize what it would look and feel like when you are there.  This creates purpose for all subsequent practice until you achieve the goal.

3. To look for ways to get better, you are encouraged to make experiments.

Often steps to realize your goal is not immediately obvious.  Therefore you have to experiment with a number of ideas.  Some may work and yield forward progress.  Some may not move the needle at all.  Some may even set you back a few notches.  What is important is experimentation and measurement.  When you know you are moving in the right direction, experiment other variations of the idea, and try to automate as much as possible to turn the good practice into a habit.

The single most important step to all these is asking the question: How do I get better at what I'm doing?  I hope all of you take some time to ask the question and come up with your own answer.  You may be surprised by kind of answers you come up with.

If you have a story about improving your skills, please share them.  I would love to hear.

Depends on the story you tell, you will see different performance.
What is the story that you are telling yourself?

No comments:

Post a Comment