Does Practice Equal Perfection?


This question is probably a no-brainer question for those of you who constantly seek perfection through daily practice in something which is a passion for you.  Is this a true statement?  Does practice equal perfection, or competence, or even growth?  Now the question has become more complicated, hasn’t it?

If you are a musician, you know the value of practice.  If you are a scientist, you know the value of repetition to achieve maximum results.  If you are a scholar, you know the value of spending time in the reading and studying of the material you wish to master.  If you are a chef, you know the value of creating and tweaking a recipe until all the ingredients create a pleasing taste.  If you are a teacher, you know the value of lesson planning and grading papers to achieve the maximum benefit of learning from your students.  If you are an athlete, you know the value of weight training, diet, exercise, repetition, and coaching to achieve a winning team/physique.

Again, I will ask, where do you fall in the professional side of things, and what is your daily regime to achieve that which you struggle for in your life, profession, and relationships?  How much planning, time, and focus does it take to achieve what you desire?

Now to me, this is where the train leaves the tracks.  Most of us have lofty plans and ideas, but we do not have execution or focus or a plan on how to achieve that which we seek.     

What are the best practices for growing and perfecting?

  1. Clear your head and your calendar and go someplace and really think and get a clear picture of what you want.
  2. Write down what your “ideal” is, using words, pictures, or whatever represents that “ideal.”
  3. Think about what needs to come first and write that down.
  4. Then what comes 2nd, and write it down and continue this process until you do not have anything else to list.
  5. Go back and really look at your list.
  6. Your list may need to be reorganized a couple of times based on the factors/situations/finances and so on in your life.
  7. Do not be discouraged; just keep going until you feel good about the list, its sequence, and then you will begin to feel energized about executing it.

What are the BENEFITS of practicing your daily list?

  1. The benefit is you will develop and deepen your commitment and understanding around your commitment to reach your ideal.
  2. The benefit of practicing will also help you develop your skill, talent, and gifts which are all connected to moving forward to your ideal.
  3. The benefit of practicing will grow your current capacity for getting things done and seeing things through to the end.
  4. The benefit of practicing will become very evident when you are “INTENTIONAL” in every daily practice.
  5. The benefit of practicing your daily habits you have listed will help you discover, new truths, new warnings, and promises.

The 10,000 Hour Rule

In 1993 a psychology professor by the name of Andres Ericcson taught a new concept to his students.  He postulated that it takes about 10,000 hours of intentional practice to achieve mastery of complex skills and materials.  As I have pondered this concept, I know it is true when I watch world-class Olympians do some incredible athletic feat, I could never accomplish much less devote my life to the mastery of the physical feat.  And yet, I can marvel at the beauty and the skill with which they make the feat look easy.  Indeed it is easy for them because they have practiced it 10,000+ times. 

I will close with this question.  The next time you are in the throws of indecision about making a commitment to something, ask yourself this:

“What is the singular reason for my intentional time spent here?”

If you do not have an immediate answer, then you will never accomplish it.

Move on.