Why PRACTICE = PROGRESS!

By Jernavis Draughn

Aristotle once said, “we are what we repeatedly do, excellence is not an act but a habit”. Practice is the foundation to growing in any facet of your life. If you are struggling with a subject in school, the only way to improve is to practice the subject more. If your business is failing to grow quarterly, then you need to implement new strategies and practices that will help you drive daily sales. If you are in a relationship that lacks communication, the only way to improve that area is to practice carving out time to communicate more on how you feel about each other and the relationship. It can be a sports, hobby or skill set, the only way for it to improve is by practicing. Practice makes permanent.

I’ve done research and found deliberate practice is one of the best methods for consistent growth. Coined by Anders Ericsson, deliberate practice refers to a special type of practice that is purposeful and systematic. While regular practice might include mindless repetitions, deliberate practice requires focused attention and is conducted with the specific goal of improving performance. Practicing with a purpose, while receiving feedback. We mistake movement with achievement. Our daily actions often do not lead to an outcome or result that we genuinely want. They say when you walk in purpose, you will collide with destiny.

In the book, “Practice Perfect”, by Doug Lemov, he explains forty-two rules for getting better at getting better. Here’s ten of the rules that stood out to me from the book that will help you grow in any area of your life.

  1. Encode success. Engineer practice activity so that the success rate is reliably high. Practice getting it right.
  2. Practice the 80/20 principle. Identify the 20 percent of things you could practice that will deliver 80 percent of the value.
  3. Unlock creativity with repetition. Automate skills to free others cognition to be more creative.
  4. Correct instead of critique. Feedback automatically helps people get better.
  5. Isolate the skill your trying to improve on. Focus on that one skill until you see improvement.
  6. Replace your purpose with an objective. Create measurable and manageable objectives and goals for your program daily.
  7. Make a plan. Plan with data driven objectives in mind and plan to adapt.
  8. Make each minute matter.
  9. Model and describe what to focus on.
  10. Let the mind follow the body. Learn skills to automaticity. Master your craft.

Practice equals progress. There’s a quote from the book by Dan Heath that exemplifies the value of practice. “The enemies of practice are pride, fear and self-satisfaction”. To practice requires humility. It forces us to admit that we don’t know everything. To practice isn’t to declare, ‘I’m bad.’ To practice is to declare, ‘I can be better.” When you fall in love with practicing, you have opened the door to discovering your passion, which can lead you to finding your life purpose.

Quote of the Day: “Deliberate practice equals progress.”

The ONLY TWO things you don’t have control of in your LIFE…?

We all are in a personal battle against TIME and CHANGE. How we value our time will produce the change we want in our lives. They both are symbiotic with each other, from the standpoint that we don’t have any control over the speed or impact on how they will affect us. Change is inevitable, but progress is not. We know time never stops for no one. You can plan how to use time effectively and manage change. Most people don’t plan to fail but fail to plan. Without a plan, time and change will ruining you. The only defense against change is planning what we want our lives to look like. Don’t wait for change to happen. Don’t be a victim of change. The key is to change before your force too. People often say, “I don’t have the time to do it”, or “There’s not enough hours in the day”. We all have victimized ourselves to believe we don’t have enough time to complete something. In the world we live in today, our time is freely being stolen from us. Time is the one of the most valuable assets we have. By the grace of God if you woke up today, your blessed with the opportunity to maximize your time to the best of your ability.

You can’t save time, but you can invest it wisely. What are you investing your time in daily? Do you have a plan for your life? Do you have daily, monthly or yearly goals? Are you afraid of change? What have you changed about yourself, habits or character lately? How do you define change? I believe real change is a change in behavior. Meaning your actions, mindsets, and decisions are different. When was last time someone has complimented you about a positive change you’ve made in your life? Your life is your karma. It’s a direct reflection on how you have used your time.

Here’s 3 easy ways to manage time and change:

  1. Monitor daily where your investing your time in the most. Where your focused goes, your energy flows. Keep track of your daily activities and accomplishments
  2. Plan your day the night before. What gets measured gets done. I’ve learned what gets written down gets accomplished.
  3. Change before your READY! This is something I’m working on DAILY. As a leader, in business, life, and relationships. Focus on improving daily in every facet of your life. Commit to “CANI”, constant and never-ending improvement.

Robin Sharma, once said, “what you do daily is your life in miniature.” We all are given the same 24 hours daily. What we do with our time will essentially determine our future. Make change your daily vitamin. Look at change in a positive light and yearn to make it habit. Les Brown once said, “the graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.” Learn to maximize your time, while accepting change with an open mind to continually grow.

Quote of the Day: “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” -Charles Darwin