I am infatuated with practice. Deliberately sharpening skills is an idea I’m comfortable with from extensive time playing and coaching football. I have seen how consistently honing skills can bring about improvement and, eventually, mastery.
But not just idly practicing, or “going through the motions.” By challenging ones’ self with new exercises. By getting out of a comfortable place and into new territory. With intention.
In addition to my personal experiences, I have studied the work of individuals who have dedicated their lives to the science of improvement. I have drawn from a well of inspiration that includes, but is not limited to, Steven Kotler’s The Rise of Superman, Angela Duckworth’s Grit, Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, and next on my list are Anders Ericsson’s Peak and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow. These thinkers have inspired me to concoct new ways to practice.
I now know more about intentional practice than ever in my life. But instead of applying these principles to sports, I now apply them to writing.