We’ve all heard it time and time again, “Practice makes perfect.” Does it?
In a team of some of the best rugby players across the globe, we have been discussing what truly makes a perfect pro. Back in 2018 England lost to France and Ireland, this year they have come all guns blazing recently beating both teams. So what is different this year? Is it because they’ve learnt from their mistakes or have they practiced harder and put in more hours surely?
For those who have been living in the remote wilderness for the last 10 years, Malcom Gladwells Outliers: The Story of Success details the importance of the 10,000 hour rule, using examples from the global success of The Beatles to Bill Gates technological career. Much like Owen Farrell’s success as becoming the world’s best rugby goal kicker.
Gladwell identifies how successful people, practice eight hours a day, seven days a week, for five years, before they are experts in their field. This does sound daunting, however there are key characteristics outlined to help get you well on the way to discovering your true potential. Do you practice in a way which will maximise your benefits?
I’m not suggesting what you lack in innate talent can be made up in its entirety with 10,000 hours of practice, but ultimately that 10,000 hours of practice will enhance your natural ability. It’s passion, which drives your want to improve and succeed. Its’ all too easy to say been there done that, but if you want to stand out and elevate yourself as an expert then be proactive, sit back and say okay what is next!
It is important to understand this rule (I think it’s better described as a guideline to success rather than a definitive rule) doesn’t just apply to athletes, performers or even musicians. It applies to anyone who wants to excel and become an expert in their chosen profession or skill. Be a little more “Generation Z”, always be switched on.
“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later” – Richard Branson
So what are some characteristics that are key to becoming an expert? Here are our Top Tips:
- Dedication! The persistence and focus to practicing. It’s about learning how to not be impatient or easily distracted.
- Challenge! Continuously and consistently pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to learn something new and difficult.
- Learn! Absorb every piece of information, grab every opportunity you get to develop your knowledge, whether that’s training at in the workplace, listening to a podcast or reading a recommended book. Nike says it best, Just Do It™.
- Feedback! Be inquisitive, why are you falling short? What can you do to improve? Don’t let missing the mark dishearten you, try and try again!
So what do we want you take from this post? Ever heard the saying “every day’s a school day”? Make this more than just a statement, make it fact. What sets you apart from the rest? What makes you more hireable than the rest? The best piece of advice we could give you is to find something you have a real passion for, practical or academic, visualise it, focus on it, and strive to become a Pro at it!