"Those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things." Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Why Should You Engage in Deliberate Practice?

“The champions in any field are those who devote the most time to what performance experts call deliberate practice. Hard work is fine. But for it to be genuinely effective, the work needs to be directed. Deliberate practice is an activity designed to help you improve a specific skill or performance, to enable you to reach for goals just beyond your level of proficiency, to provide you feedback on results, and to build a program that allows for high levels of repetition.”
- James M. Citrin, The Dynamic Path

The artist in all of us; creates through the forward tension of our ideal existence and our current states. This unique tension creates desire, the fuel that compels development. Deliberate practice is no more than strategically and meticulously developing your capacities that will create that ideal existence.

Faith enters the picture of such creative intentions. One would not invest valuable time into deliberately developing, honing, and refining their abilities if they did not have a high level of faith or belief in the realization of their ideal. There is nothing worse than hard work without direction. Without direction and purposes existence is stifled, our will diminishes. Our will is strengthened with deliberate practice that overcomes resistance. The famous dictum of Nietzsche tells us this - Will To Power.

Power is only felt with the overcoming of resistance. Think of fitness for example. The athlete's "high" comes from the endorphins released upon exertion, i.e., the use of our will to overcome physical resistances. The feeling of our own power, is thus the feeling of pleasure. This is so for the obstacles we overcome in all aspects in life. The individual who has overcome more resistances is usually an individual with more power & confidence.

Contrary to cultural myth, great accomplishments are not attained by lucky, chosen, or gifted people. But, by those who have, like James Citrin says, habitually tended to deliberate practice. We like to believe that the lack of resistance, tension, and obstacles would produce pleasure of orgasmic proportions. Yet when analyzed from most all perspectives, from cellular growth, to intellectual accomplishment we see the divinity of challenges that feeds life into our spirits, and thus gives us a greater capacity of enjoyment and pleasure.

Angel Armendariz

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