One key to mastery is what Florida State University psychology professor Anders Ericsson calls deliberate practice – a ‘lifelong period of… effort to improve performance in a specific domain.’ Deliberate practice isn’t running a few miles each day or banging on the piano for twenty minutes each morning. It’s much more purposeful, focused, and, yes painful. Follow these steps – over and over again for a decade – and you just might become a master:
Focus and mastery of your chosen craft are topics that I’m deeply interested in, so this article checked all the right boxes for me. In the age of distraction that we live in, where any hint of boredom can be quickly and easily erased by Twitter or Buzzfeed, I believe that the ability to focus, and focus intently for extended periods of time is only going to become more valuable for people who work primarily with their minds.
Each day is an opportunity to either sharpen your saw, or let it rust. Taking action to ensure that you are focusing on the right things at the right time gives you an advantage.
I’d be remiss not to mention Shawn Blanc’s “The Power of a Focused Life” course. I’ve not taken the course yet, it’s a bit pricey, but I’ve followed his work for long enough that I understand where he’s coming from. To do your best work consistently, and to always be pressing the boundaries of your capability, to always be making yourself just a little bit better every day, these are the traits of a master craftsman.