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Book Freak #65: How to Push Past Your Comfort Zone

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My new newsletter!Before we get started with this issue of Book Freak, I wanted to let you know about
 

Book Freak

September 18 · Issue #65 · View online
Short pieces of advice from books

My new newsletter!
Before we get started with this issue of Book Freak, I wanted to let you know about a new newsletter I started, call The Magnet. Every week in The Magnet I write about tips I find useful, things that interest me, what I’ve learned, interviews, recipes, quotations, and more. l also include excerpts from my favorite newsletters. I’ve published three issues so far and you can read them by clicking the link below. I hope you’ll check it out!

Anders Ericsson is a professor of psychology at Florida State University. He studies expert performance in domains such as music, chess, medicine, and sports. His groundbreaking work has been cited in bestsellers from Moonwalking with Einstein to Outliers to How Children Succeed. Here are four piece of advice from his book Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise.

Aim for specificity
“Deliberate practice involves well-defined, specific goals and often involves improving some aspect of the target performance; it is not aimed at some vague overall improvement. Once an overall goal has been set, a teacher or coach will develop a plan for making a series of small changes that will add up to the desired larger change. Improving some aspect of the target performance allows a performer to see that his or her performances have been improved by the training. Deliberate practice is deliberate, that is, it requires a person’s full attention and conscious actions. It isn’t enough to simply follow a teacher’s or coach’s directions. The student must concentrate on the specific goal for his or her practice activity so that adjustments can be made to control practice.”
Get help from an expert
“Even the most motivated and intelligent student will advance more quickly under the tutelage of someone who knows the best order in which to learn things, who understands and can demonstrate the proper way to perform various skills, who can provide useful feedback, and who can devise practice activities designed to overcome particular weaknesses.”
Keep upping the ante
“You have to keep upping the ante: run farther, run faster, run uphill. If you don’t keep pushing and pushing and pushing some more, the body will settle into homeostasis, albeit at a different level than before, and you will stop improving.”
Get outside your comfort zone, but in a focused way
“So here we have purposeful practice in a nutshell: Get outside your comfort zone but do it in a focused way, with clear goals, a plan for reaching those goals, and a way to monitor your progress. Oh, and figure out a way to maintain your motivation.”
Buy Peak on Amazon
Book Freak is published by Cool Tools Lab, a small company of three people. We run the Cool Tools website, a podcast, a video review YouTube channel, and a few other newsletters, including Gareth’s Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales, What’s in my bag? and Recomendo. You can support our work by becoming a patron via Patreon.
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