What is the difference between 28 time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps and other elite athletes who have competed in the Olympic games? I’m sure a person wouldn’t find huge differences as to their nutrition, workout routines and training schedules. As the book “Outliers” suggests, natural ability requires a huge investment of time in order to become a reality.
The same goes for what matters in the classroom. We should all be working hard to do our best. At times it could be frustrating to have studied hard and not necessarily get the results you were hoping for. Remind yourself that what arguably makes the difference is “how” you practice. Cal Newport, in his book “So Good They Can’t Ignore You,” says that “what makes ridiculously successful people so successful is they’re experts at practicing – they can push themselves to the exact limit of their skillset and thus expand their abilities day after day. If you are not expanding yourself in such a fashion, called deliberate practice, you’ll never be ridiculously successful.”
So how can you be more deliberate with your study time? Start by breaking down what you need to do in tiny steps. Look at those who have had success in the particular skillset you are working on and figure out what they do and how you can implement those techniques. Finally, be open-minded and ask for continuous feedback. YTeach is a great source to find peers with skills that you are working on, who can give you constructive feedback in order to help you keep improving. In essence, be deliberate. Just doing the motions and glancing over a lesson is not enough to be effective. Be sure to really focus on daily improvement.
Michael Phelps is an elite athlete, who struggled with ADHD since childhood. However, he was able to train himself to focus on the details and practice deliberately. Like he said, “Always stay in your lane.” By this he means that you should not focus on how you are performing compared to your classmates or competitors but instead need to stay focused on the immediate task in hand if you want to take on challenges on your own terms and at the time that will help you improve the most. Have confidence in yourself that you have done all that you can, the best that you can, and the results will come. If you remain focused on doing your best and always strive to improve instead of competing against others, it does not mean that you will come out on top every time, but you will have definitely improved your chances for success.
In this week’s #MakeItHappen Monday, focus on how you can practice deliberately and on how you can become a better version of yourself and not anybody else. Let us know how you are being more deliberate by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or share your story and tag us on social
Go make it happen,
Luly & the YTeach Team
“You see I study art. The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint. The greats were great because they’d paint a lot.”
– Macklemore & Ryan Lewis