Learn what you need to do to get really good at anything in this guide. An audio version of this guide is available here.
The crucial factor
Do you want to know what the secret is to becoming good at something? Or even really good at something?
It is repetition.
No matter the area, the skill, the industry, the profession… whatever it is you want to get good or better at, this is important. Repetition is essential for becoming good at anything (no matter what it is), and is an absolute must if you want to achieve the level of mastery. So if you want to not just become good at something but become an expert, repetition is an absolute must.
If you want to get good or better at something, anything, one of the best ways to do it is to practice the thing a lot.
You have to repeat it over, and over, and over again.
The role of repetition
Repetition is key to becoming good at anything.
The people who are the best of the best know this. Why do you think pro athletes spend countless hours doing something that they are already good at?
It is because they know the power of repetition.
Take Micheal Jordan, for example. Everyone knows of Micheal Jordan. We know him as one of the best basketball players of all time. But did you know that his training regime involved a lot of repetition? He practiced 1000 jump shots a day, six days a week. That’s 6000 jump shots a week, and he did that for months!
Kobe Bryant, another basketball legend, does something similar.
But it’s not just in basketball – no matter what sports you look at, you’ll find that the best repeat the same things, a lot. In fact, repetition is a key practice of nearly anyone who is good at what they do – no matter what skill or field or area you look at.
- A pilot who is really good at flying is one who practices the same thing over and over and over again.
- A driver who is really good at driving becomes good after repeatedly doing the same thing.
- A chef who looks like a magician with a knife becomes good not overnight but only after hours and hours of practicing their chopping skills over and over and over again.
It takes practice and repetition to get really good.
That doesn’t “just happen” – no one becomes really good at anything overnight.
Master street chef and expertise
This reminds me of the time I watched this street food vendor in Thailand. The guy was selling green papaya salad. He made the salad so fast that it almost looked impossible! It was all like a flurry and over on seconds! Let’s just say it was impressive, and it tasted pretty good too.
I’m sure you have seen examples like that too – experts like that exist everywhere. They are the people who make what they do look really easy and even effortless.
Have you seen one of the great guitarists like Van Halen or Stevie Ray playing the guitar? It looks incredible!
Well, same principle.
Speed and skill like that don’t develop overnight. They are a result of practice, and a whole lot of it.
There’s a reason why the best athletes and musicians and other pros practice regularly, and practice a lot. That repetition is one of the key things that makes them the best of the best.
But repetition isn’t just important for the pros, even in day to day life it makes a big difference. There’s a reason why those with experience get good at what they do – it is because they have had more practice.
It is because they’ve had more repetition.
There’s a famous Latin proverb about this “repetitio mater studiorum,” which means “repetition is the mother of all learning”.
And it really is.
How repetition can harm and what to do about it
Repetition is good, and essential, but there is something you need to keep in mind – repetition is only good when your form is good.
Here’s what I mean: when you do something, especially when it is a new skill, it’s quite easy to do it incorrectly. But if it’s not corrected it won’t do you much, if any good.
In a situation like that repetition doesn’t actually help you, but can harm you.
Repeating the wrong things instills bad habits and does you more harm then good, so it is important for you to make sure that what you are choosing to practice repeatedly is the right thing.
You do need to choose the right skill or practice to repeat to get the most benefits.
Repeating the wrong thing won’t help you, so this is something you need to be careful about. You need to make sure that what you choose to repeat is the right thing, because that is how you can reap the rewards of repetition.
No matter the skill, be it a simple one or a complex one, repetition matters.
The more you repeatedly practice a skill, the better you’ll get at it. It really is that simple.
Simple, yes, but not easy because repeating the same thing over and over is not glamorous and can even be downright boring.
This is why patience and perseverance plays a big role in developing a skill.
You already know how to do this
That said, you already know how to do this. The skill of repetition is not something new you need to adopt, you’re already proficient at it.
I’m going to give you an example of this fact.
Think back to when you were young, think about the time when you first learned how to write – did you just write once and master the skill?
No, you did not.
You did it over and over and over again before you mastered the skill of writing. Then overtime with practice you got so good at it that now you can write things without having to consciously think about the alphabet.
But you did have to think about the alphabets consciously when you were just starting off.
We have all gone through that experience (or at the very least similar ones). So as it turns out, repetition is a skill we already have – all of us – and it is a skill we already know how to use.
Every area of your life that your are good at, every skill that you are good at, repetition played a major role.
Developing muscle memory
But there are other benefits too, like developing muscle memory – which is where you can do something without consciously thinking about it as a result of repeatedly doing it many, many, many times.
As a result of repeating the thing over and over and over again the pattern or practice gets so ingrained in your brain that you can go on autopilot mode and just do it.
If you’re really good at something, then you know what I’m talking about. If you’re not yet then trust me, this is a benefit to look forward to.
Here’s the bottom line – if you want to get good at something, you need to repeatedly practice it. The more you do it, the better you will get at it.
No matter the skill, if you practice it enough, you can get good at it.
Let me ask you a question: do you think you can get good at something if you repeatedly practice it 500 to 1,000 times a day for a week, or a month, or longer like Micheal Jordan and Kobe did?
I am positive that you can.
The question isn’t will you get good at it, but rather, can you stick to it, and that one only you can answer.
You can good at whatever skill you want, and now you know what you need to do.
The more you repeatedly practice something, the better you will get at it.
Repetition is the secret.
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