Reach: Always push yourself to the edge of your ability.
Stare: Look at those better than you and emulate them.
We learn when we’re in our discomfort zone. When you’re struggling, that’s when you’re getting smarter. The more time you spend there, the faster you learn. It’s better to spend a very, very high quality ten minutes, or even ten seconds, than it is to spend a mediocre hour. You want to practice where you are on the edge of your ability, reaching over and over again, making mistakes, failing, realizing those mistakes and reaching again.
The closer your practice is to the real thing, the faster you learn.
You don’t want to be succeeding 40 percent of the time. That’s flailing around. You don’t want to be succeeding 95 percent of the time. That’s too easy. You want to constantly be toggling, adjusting the environment so that you’re succeeding 60 to 80 percent of the time.
Commit To The Long Term
The question that ended up being the most predictive of skill was “How long are you going to be doing this?” Commitment was the difference maker. The people who combined commitment with a little bit of practice, their skills went off the charts.
Find A Role Model
Watching the best people work is one of the most powerful things you can do.
hen we stare at someone we want to become and we have a really clear idea of where we want to be, it unlocks a tremendous amount of energy. We’re social creatures, and when we get the idea that we want to join some enchanted circle up above us, that is what really lights up motivation. “Look, they did it. I can do it.” It sounds very basic, but spending time staring at the best can be one of the most powerful things you do.
Naps Are Steroids For Your Brain
Napping is a high performance activity. If you looked into the habits of highly successful people you would see a lot of naps, a lot of recovery. It’s sort of our brains’ janitorial service. It helps us clean out the stuff we don’t want. It also helps us work on ideas while we’re asleep. Top performers use sleep as a tool.
Keep a Notebook
Most people who are taking an ownership role in their talent development use this magical tool called a notebook. Keep a performance journal. If you want to get better, you need a map, and that journal is that map. You can write down what you did today, what you tried to do, where you made mistakes. It’s a place to reflect. It’s a place to capture information. It’s a place to be able to track your progress. It’s one of the most underused yet powerful tools that I could imagine anybody using.
If You Only Remember Two Words From This…
I would say, “Reach. Get out on the edge of your ability. Get into your discomfort zone and reach past that.” And I would say, “Stare. Find somebody you want to be in two years, three years, five years, and stare at that person. See what they’re doing. See exactly what they’re doing, and steal that. Steal from them.”
Just Say No
Warren Buffett once said:
The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say “no” to almost everything.