Personal development involves many tools, techniques or processes that an individual uses to improve something about themselves to … become a better person. These usually include influencing behavioral and mental tactics thoughts and beliefs to curb negative habits while growing and nurturing positive ones. One that is rarely discussed but very important is deliberate practice.
Deliberate practice is just that … practicing deliberately EVERY day. It involves learning and gaining new skills and expertise. It is reliant on lots and lots of practice. This isn’t just the “few hours here and there” kind of practice. This involves dedication, self-discipline … the kind of practice that happens daily and takes years to craft into a great talent. There are no quick, over night cures for behaviors you want to change. Sorry, there just isn’t. It takes work, hard work sometimes.
There is research out there that shows that the quality of your practice is just as important as the quantity. Deliberate practice involves, if done properly, the development of talents and can be very powerful. It will most definitely add to your personal development goals. But … I can hear some of you say, “I don’t have time …” while others may point to some and say “he comes by it so naturally…” Does he?
The concept of “natural abilities” is in fact most likely not as big a part in a person’s talents as it was originally thought. That it doesn’t have anything to do with “good genes.” Most of our genetic differences are physical in nature. However, research confirms that it most likely has nothing to do with genes at all but with spending a long period of time devoted to a particular talent. Practice makes perfect, so to speak.
So, what does this mean to you? Have you ever wanted to take up an interest, but declined to do so because you think that you are not talented enough? If so, then you should rethink your decision. I firmly believe that it has nothing to do with what you are born with as to what you can do. It actually relies more on the fact that you deliberately and consistently do it.
This way of thinking can help you eventually improve your performance at whatever it is that you’re working so hard at. Will it be difficult at first, frustrating even? Maybe. Just remember this relates to any kind of talent from singing, to drawing, to learning languages, sports, and so on. While some sports do benefit from certain genetic factors such as build or body type, many others can overcome the differences or gaps of where you are to where you want to be by being motivated and practicing daily.
Deliberate practice requires starting with baby steps and continuously repeating them until they become second nature. Once you grasp this step, you move on to the next, and so on, and so forth. Eventually, you will reach the level of expertise that you may have thought unattainable. It may take months or years of hard work and practice. But if you love something and want it badly enough, you can do it.
You can reach any goal you set for yourself with deliberate intention, concentration, and daily practice. When you embark on this journey you will come out of this a stronger, more talented person with a better outlook on life. And that is what personal development is all about. Wishing you an exciting future! Now go out there and get it! Deliberately!