Friday, November 5, 2010

How Hard Are You Willing to Work to Be Excellent

I try to keep to the theme of my blog: business, family or exercise.  Sometimes I get lucky and come across something that relates to more than one of these areas.  In fact, a lot of the same principles used and traits needed in physical training are also needed in business and to manage a family.

You need to plan your training (business/family) and then work your plan
You need to see yourself already achieving your training (business/personal) goals
You need commitment, energy, focus, and determination to be successful in sports, business and marriage

I could go on and on, but I'd rather share this exerpt from an HBR blog from Tony Schwartz, Six Keys to Being Excellent at Anything

"...We've found, in our work with executives at dozens of organizations, that it's possible to build any given skill or capacity in the same systematic way we do a muscle: push past your comfort zone, and then rest. Aristotle Will Durant*, commenting on Aristotle, pointed out that the philosopher had it exactly right 2000 years ago: "We are what we repeatedly do." By relying on highly specific practices, we've seen our clients dramatically improve skills ranging from empathy, to focus, to creativity, to summoning positive emotions, to deeply relaxing.
Like everyone who studies performance, I'm indebted to the extraordinary Anders Ericsson, arguably the world's leading researcher into high performance. For more than two decades, Ericsson has been making the case that it's not inherited talent which determines how good we become at something, but rather how hard we're willing to work — something he calls "deliberate practice." Numerous researchers now agree that 10,000 hours of such practice as the minimum necessary to achieve expertise in any complex domain.
There is something wonderfully empowering about this. It suggests we have remarkable capacity to influence our own outcomes. But that's also daunting. One of Ericsson's central findings is that practice is not only the most important ingredient in achieving excellence, but also the most difficult and the least intrinsically enjoyable.
If you want to be really good at something, it's going to involve relentlessly pushing past your comfort zone, along with frustration, struggle, setbacks and failures. That's true as long as you want to continue to improve, or even maintain a high level of excellence. The reward is that being really good at something you've earned through your own hard work can be immensely satisfying. . ."

How hard are you willing to work?

No comments:

Post a Comment