In this provocative NYT article, David Brooks dives deep into the notion that genes and IQs and things determine profound success, and convinincingly argues that nothing beats good, old-fashioned practice. That’s not only how musicians get to Carnegie Hall, it’s also what made Mozart and Tiger Woods great.
As Brooks states,
The mind is sloppy and will settle for good enough. By practicing slowly, by breaking skills into tiny parts and repeating, the strenuous student forces the brain to internalize a better pattern of performance.”
He recommends two “enjoyable” new books: “The Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle, and “Talent Is Overrated” by Geoff Colvin.
For any of us who feel in a slump, a little background reading on perseverance may in order. After all, nobody golfs par or launches a new idea without hard work along the way. At some point, it’s probably even pleasureable. Bet the pay-off is!
To stretch the idea a bit further, nobody gets a sabbatical without persistence and patience either. Gosh, even a week vacation takes ample planning and some sacrifice. So, if you want a BreakAway, start rehearsing now. Try weekend escapes. Serve up (media-free) Sunday Supper. Sneak away and chill 20 minutes every afternoon.
Practice may not make perfect. But it may get you to your desired destination in life.