Patience & Persistence Pays Off
Ever wonder how “those people” succeed and become famous? An elite athlete, a top scientist, the concert pianist, a self-made billionaire, or celebrity chef — the secret to get what you want, to be the best you can be or become an expert in any field, is simply… practice, practice, practice.
Studies of the lives of extremely successful people have shown, it takes an average of ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in any field. Their success wasn’t luck or just natural ability, it had to do with repeating something they loved to do over and over again.
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, is often cited as an example of someone who dropped out of school but still became extremely successful. Gates and his business partner Paul Allen put in thousands of hours where they “practiced” programing with early computers.
The Beatles are another great example. They may have been young, but by the time they had become international stars in 1964, they’d already played over 1,200 concerts together!
So how do you get your kids to practice? How do you motivate yourself to practice?
Before going back to school or work, identify a subject that you would like to be good at or even master in your life. Set this time as a new beginning, starting to practice.
Those who have mastered practice suggest the following:
Schedule: Set a time and stick to it. 15 minutes a day adds up to 1.5 hours a week, that is 6.5 hours a month. It doesn’t sound like much, but with persistent practice it will pay back in the end.
Reward: Plan your practice around activities that give you joy. A cup of coffee after finishing your French exercise; lunch after tennis practice; pick up a movie after completing your marathon training.
Celebrate: When practice leads to achievement, whether it is passing a course or getting an award, take time to celebrate. Share it with friends and family – compliments always feed your drive.
Patience: Understand that the rewards of practicing have their ups and downs. You may practice for several weeks and not feel you are getting any better. Suddenly, one day, you make a big leap. That’s how it works. You’re getting better and better, even when you can’t tell you’re improving.
Moderation: Don’t over do it. It’s about consistency not blitzing. Practice in a deliberate, focused manner. Remember to take a break, practice in the morning when your mind is fresh and the same length of time every day.
And finally, remember we live in an instant gratification world. Consistent, steady practice doesn’t fit instant gratification. Practice is hard, and can seem boring. Admit that it is meant to be hard work but there are great rewards at the end.