The Best General Advice On Perfecting A Skill

Personal Development

Mar 26,2018

So you want to be good at something? You can do it. And as the clichéd response goes, “practice makes perfect”. If you want to be really good at a certain thing, practice indeed makes perfect. But does that motivate you to get up and start practicing? Probably not, because you’ve heard it so many times and yet you still refuse to practice on the piano, or the guitar… or practice doing muscle ups with 50 pounds attached to you.

But what if I have something better than “practice makes perfect”? What if I said that every time you practice, you rewire your brain and bring it that much closer to perfecting the task that you’re working on? It is true – you are actually changing the physical makeup of your brain every time you engage in a certain activity, and that change is being directed at bettering the activity. A neuroscientist will tell you that “whatever fires together wires together”. What is being referred to in that statement are the neurons that make up your brain – that when certain neurons get activated (fire), they then end up systematizing together (wire) to serve as a new module to more efficiently tackle the obstacle.

So if you start practicing on the guitar on day #1, remember that you have already started the rewiring process that will make it easier on day #2. Of course, it will be small at first and you might not notice it, but when day #20 rolls around, you’ll look back and see the improvement. But you also can’t leave large gaps in your practicing. If you practice on days #1 and #2, and then rest for ten days before you continue on day #3, your brain will have already started the unwiring process. People always notice a big fall in their talent level if left not practicing for too long. This is the reason why. You probably also heard of the saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it”.

So that’s all there is to it. It’s nice knowing that there is a process built-in within you that “saves” your work and then allows you to continue where you left off. All you have to do is practice regularly that thing you want to perfect, and you should reach some satisfactory level of ability in a decent amount of time. Some people will have a natural talent to get there faster and to go even further, but just about everyone should be able to at least grab the low-hanging fruit.

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