You might not be perfect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get better. While success comes rapidly at first, it slows to a crawl before too long. The key is to continue making progress over a long period of time. Becoming an expert in any field requires this understanding.
If you’re motivated and patient, you can become great at anything. Think about any skill you want to develop, or any part of your life you want to enhance. How much progress would you have made if you had started 10 years ago and worked on it each day? It boggles the mind.
Develop a philosophy of constant improvement with these strategies:
1. Realize that a miniscule amount of improvement each day is enough. A tiny amount of improvement each day, or even each week or month, is more than enough to achieve anything you desire.
- Whether you’re interested in earning more money, learning the piano, or perfecting your welding skills, slow and steady progress is enough.
- Imagine 20 years of minimal progress each day. Imagine even a single year of daily progress.
2. Become an expert. It’s not enough to read one book or to take one class. Reading one book on gardening isn’t enough to turn you into a master gardener. Learning about your area of interest requires a deeper knowledge. Take the time to become a true expert. Never stop learning.
- Take courses, read books, or join a community of people with similar goals and interests.
3. Practice daily. Regular practice is the key. Mindless practice is insufficient. You must know what you’re trying to accomplish with your practice each day. Striving to improve is critical. Remember, the intention is to be better today than you were yesterday.
4. Measure your progress. You can’t know if you’re getting better if you don’t measure your progress. Find a way to measure yourself and do so regularly. Nothing stimulates enthusiasm like success. You’ll also notice when you’re losing ground, which suggests that you might want a new approach.
5. Be patient. Progress often comes quickly at first and then slows. Eventually, progress is barely perceptible. This is true for any field. The importance of patience can’t be overemphasized. Be patient and progress will come.
6. Get a mentor. A mentor is an expert with an interest in your success. Getting regular feedback from someone that knows what they’re talking about can be much more effective than going at it alone. Get expert help if you can.
7. Celebrate progress, not perfection. Avoid waiting until you’re perfect to celebrate. That time will never come. Even if you’re just a tiny bit better than you were, throw yourself a little party. Any progress is worthy of excitement and pride. Those little spurts of progress add up over time.
8. Set goals. It’s easier to stay motivated and on course if you have a specific goal you’re working toward. Instead of just focusing on “getting better,” focus on being able to play Clair de Lune by the end of the year. A goal provides direction and a time constraint. Both can be useful.
If you put in the time and remain patient, you can become amazingly good at anything. The key is increasing your knowledge and lots of practice.
Avoid falling into the trap of wanting perfection. Perfection can’t be obtained. Instead, put your faith in progress. A small amount of progress each day created the Grand Canyon. Achieving your goals is a piece of cake in comparison.
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