deliberate practice

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pages: 378 words: 110,408

Peak: Secrets From the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson, Robert Pool

Albert Einstein, deliberate practice, iterative process, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, sensible shoes

Some genetic factors may influence a person’s ability to engage in sustained deliberate practice—for instance, by limiting a person’s capability to focus for long periods of time every day. Conversely, engaging in extended practice may influence how genes are turned on and off in the body. The last part of the book takes everything we have learned about deliberate practice by studying expert performers and explains what it means for the rest of us. I offer specific advice about putting deliberate practice to work in professional organizations in order to improve the performance of employees, about how individuals can apply deliberate practice to get better in their areas of interest, and even about how schools can put deliberate practice to work in the classroom. While the principles of deliberate practice were discovered by studying expert performers, the principles themselves can be used by anyone who wants to improve at anything, even if just a little bit.

That forced us to rethink how we were presenting deliberate practice—in essence, to come up with a new and better mental representation of how we thought about it and how we wanted others to think about it. It soon occurred to us that the role of mental representations held the key to how we wanted to present deliberate practice. Initially, we had seen mental representations as being just one aspect of deliberate practice among many that we would present to the reader, but now we began to see them as a central feature—perhaps the central feature—of the book. The main purpose of deliberate practice is to develop effective mental representations, and, as we will discuss shortly, mental representations in turn play a key role in deliberate practice. The key change that occurs in our adaptable brains in response to deliberate practice is the development of better mental representations, which in turn open up new possibilities for improved performance.

In particular, deliberate practice is informed and guided by the best performers’ accomplishments and by an understanding of what these expert performers do to excel. Deliberate practice is purposeful practice that knows where it is going and how to get there. In short, deliberate practice is characterized by the following traits: Deliberate practice develops skills that other people have already figured out how to do and for which effective training techniques have been established. The practice regimen should be designed and overseen by a teacher or coach who is familiar with the abilities of expert performers and with how those abilities can best be developed. Deliberate practice takes place outside one’s comfort zone and requires a student to constantly try things that are just beyond his or her current abilities. Thus it demands near-maximal effort, which is generally not enjoyable. 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.


pages: 197 words: 60,477

So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport

Apple II, bounce rate, business cycle, Byte Shop, Cal Newport, capital controls, cleantech, Community Supported Agriculture, deliberate practice, financial independence, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, information asymmetry, job satisfaction, job-hopping, knowledge worker, Mason jar, medical residency, new economy, passive income, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, renewable energy credits, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Bolles, Richard Feynman, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, winner-take-all economy

Step 4: Stretch and Destroy Returning to Geoff Colvin, in the article cited above he gives the following warning about deliberate practice: Doing things we know how to do well is enjoyable, and that’s exactly the opposite of what deliberate practice demands…. Deliberate practice is above all an effort of focus and concentration. That is what makes it “deliberate,” as distinct from the mindless playing of scales or hitting of tennis balls that most people engage in. If you show up and do what you’re told, you will, as Anders Ericsson explained earlier in this chapter, reach an “acceptable level” of ability before plateauing. The good news about deliberate practice is that it will push you past this plateau and into a realm where you have little competition. The bad news is that the reason so few people accomplish this feat is exactly because of the trait Colvin warned us about: Deliberate practice is often the opposite of enjoyable.

If you can figure out how to integrate deliberate practice into your own life, you have the possibility of blowing past your peers in your value, as you’ll likely be alone in your dedication to systematically getting better. That is, deliberate practice might provide the key to quickly becoming so good they can’t ignore you. To successfully adopt the craftsman mindset, therefore, we have to approach our jobs in the same way that Jordan approaches his guitar playing or Garry Kasparov his chess training—with a dedication to deliberate practice. How to accomplish this feat is the goal of the remainder of this chapter. I want to start, in the next section, by arguing that I’m not the first to have this insight. When we return to the stories of Alex Berger and Mike Jackson, we find that deliberate practice was at the core of their quest for work they love.

“I hope I can look back ten years later and say the same about what I’m writing now.” In Alex, we see exactly the traits that Anders Ericsson defined as crucial for deliberate practice. He stretched his abilities by taking on projects that were beyond his current comfort zone; and not just one at a time, but often up to three or four writing commissions concurrently, all the while holding down a day job! He then obsessively sought feedback, on everything—even if, looking back now, he’s humiliated at the quality of scripts he was sending out. This is textbook deliberate practice: And it worked. It allowed Alex to acquire career capital in a winner-take-all market that’s notoriously reluctant to hand it out. We see a similar commitment to deliberate practice in Mike Jackson’s story. In each stage of his path to becoming a venture capitalist he threw himself into a project beyond his current capabilities and then hustled to make it a success.


pages: 299 words: 92,782

The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing by Michael J. Mauboussin

Amazon Mechanical Turk, Atul Gawande, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, Checklist Manifesto, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, commoditize, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Emanuel Derman, fundamental attribution error, Gini coefficient, hindsight bias, hiring and firing, income inequality, Innovator's Dilemma, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Menlo Park, mental accounting, moral hazard, Network effects, prisoner's dilemma, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, shareholder value, Simon Singh, six sigma, Steven Pinker, transaction costs, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game, Zipf's Law

Once at that plateau, additional experience does not lead to improved results (as my play in a recreational hockey league attests). What distinguishes elite performers, or experts, from the rest of us is that they advance beyond their natural plateaus through deliberate practice. Unlike routine and playful performance, deliberate practice pushes people to attempt what is beyond the limits of their performance. It involves hours of concentrated and dedicated repetition. Deliberate practice also requires timely and accurate feedback, usually from a coach or teacher, in order to detect and correct errors. Deliberate practice is laborious, time-consuming, and not much fun, which is why so few people become true experts or true champions.18 In activities where luck plays a larger role, skill boils down to a process of making decisions. Unlike a piano virtuoso, who will perform at a high level every night, an investor or a businessperson who makes a good decision may suffer unwelcome consequences in the short term because of bad luck.

We could, for example, work hard and become as good as the competitors at the Indy 500. But if we were that good, we'd probably be pretty frustrated driving in traffic. But for some activities, deliberate practice is called for if we want to reach for success. Deliberate practice requires individuals to work just beyond their true ability. Deliberate practice also requires lots of timely and accurate feedback. It is hard work. It is tedious. The fact is that few of us are surrounded by coaches who can deliver a proper program with feedback, and we are not generally motivated to commit thousands of hours to mastering a given skill. Still, we need to keep the notion of deliberate practice in mind, whether we're coaching our child's sports team or training corporate executives. The core ideas of tailored practice, high-quality feedback, and hard work apply broadly.

So to understand where intuition works and where it doesn't, let's examine deliberate practice, which is relevant for activities in which you can improve skill, develop expertise, and hone intuition. Deliberate Practice: Structure, Hard Work, and All About Feedback Kahneman suggests that it is useful to consider two systems of decision making. System 1, the experiential system, “operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control.” System 2, the analytical system, “allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it, including complex computations.” System 1 is difficult to modify or direct, while you can deliberately engage System 2. The distinction between these two systems of thinking is useful in considering how deliberate practice can shape performance. Kahneman explains how the two systems typically interact: Systems 1 and 2 are both active whenever you are awake.


pages: 292 words: 62,575

97 Things Every Programmer Should Know by Kevlin Henney

A Pattern Language, active measures, business intelligence, commoditize, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, database schema, deliberate practice, domain-specific language, don't repeat yourself, Donald Knuth, fixed income, general-purpose programming language, Grace Hopper, index card, inventory management, job satisfaction, loose coupling, Silicon Valley, sorting algorithm, The Wisdom of Crowds

Chapter 22. Do Lots of Deliberate Practice Jon Jagger DELIBERATE PRACTICE IS NOT SIMPLY PERFORMING A TASK. If you ask yourself, "Why am I performing this task?" and your answer is, "To complete the task," then you're not doing deliberate practice. You do deliberate practice to improve your ability to perform a task. It's about skill and technique. Deliberate practice means repetition. It means performing the task with the aim of increasing your mastery of one or more aspects of the task. It means repeating the repetition. Slowly, over and over again, until you achieve your desired level of mastery. You do deliberate practice to master the task, not to complete the task. The principal aim of paid development is to finish a product, whereas the principal aim of deliberate practice is to improve your performance.

Improve Code by Removing It, Improve Code by Removing It, Improve Code by Removing It, Improve Code by Removing It You Gotta Care About the Code, You Gotta Care About the Code, You Gotta Care About the Code, You Gotta Care About the Code Google, Fulfill Your Ambitions with Open Source, Make the Invisible More Visible Gregory, When Programmers and Testers Collaborate, When Programmers and Testers Collaborate, When Programmers and Testers Collaborate When Programmers and Testers Collaborate, When Programmers and Testers Collaborate, When Programmers and Testers Collaborate, When Programmers and Testers Collaborate Guest, Learn to Say, "Hello, World" Learn to Say, Learn to Say, "Hello, World" guru myth, The Guru Myth, The Guru Myth, The Guru Myth H hard work, Hard Work Does Not Pay Off, Hard Work Does Not Pay Off, Hard Work Does Not Pay Off Henney, Comment Only What the Code Cannot Say, Comment Only What the Code Cannot Say, Comment Only What the Code Cannot Say, Test for Required Behavior, Not Incidental Behavior, Test Precisely and Concretely, Test Precisely and Concretely, Test Precisely and Concretely Comment Only What the Code Cannot Say, Comment Only What the Code Cannot Say, Comment Only What the Code Cannot Say, Comment Only What the Code Cannot Say Test for Required Behavior, Test for Required Behavior, Not Incidental Behavior Test Precisely and Concretely, Test Precisely and Concretely, Test Precisely and Concretely, Test Precisely and Concretely Hohpe, Convenience Is Not an -ility, Convenience Is Not an -ility, Convenience Is Not an -ility Convenience Is Not an -ility, Convenience Is Not an -ility, Convenience Is Not an -ility, Convenience Is Not an -ility Holmes, You Gotta Care About the Code Hopper, Don't Rely on "Magic Happens Here" Horstmann, Step Back and Automate, Automate, Automate Step Back and Automate, Step Back and Automate, Automate, Automate Hufnagel, News of the Weird: Testers Are Your Friends, News of the Weird: Testers Are Your Friends, News of the Weird: Testers Are Your Friends, Put the Mouse Down and Step Away from the Keyboard, Put the Mouse Down and Step Away from the Keyboard, Put the Mouse Down and Step Away from the Keyboard News of the Weird: Testers Are Your Friends, News of the Weird: Testers Are Your Friends, News of the Weird: Testers Are Your Friends, News of the Weird: Testers Are Your Friends Put the Mouse Down and Step Away from the Keyboard, Put the Mouse Down and Step Away from the Keyboard, Put the Mouse Down and Step Away from the Keyboard, Put the Mouse Down and Step Away from the Keyboard Hunt, Don't Just Learn the Language, Understand Its Culture, Don't Repeat Yourself I IDEs, Step Back and Automate, Automate, Automate, The Unix Tools Are Your Friends automation, Step Back and Automate, Automate, Automate Unix tools, The Unix Tools Are Your Friends IDEs (Integrated Development Environments), Know How to Use Command-Line Tools, Know Your IDE IEEE floating-point numbers, Floating-Point Numbers Aren't Real, Floating-Point Numbers Aren't Real, Floating-Point Numbers Aren't Real incremental changes, Before You Refactor installation process, Deploy Early and Often, Deploy Early and Often, Deploy Early and Often installing software, Install Me, Install Me, Install Me interfaces, Make Interfaces Easy to Use Correctly and Hard to Use Incorrectly, Make Interfaces Easy to Use Correctly and Hard to Use Incorrectly, Make Interfaces Easy to Use Correctly and Hard to Use Incorrectly interim solutions, The Longevity of Interim Solutions, The Longevity of Interim Solutions, The Longevity of Interim Solutions internal DSLs, Domain-Specific Languages interprocess communication, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time invisibility, Make the Invisible More Visible, Make the Invisible More Visible, Make the Invisible More Visible J Jackson, Your Customers Do Not Mean What They Say, Your Customers Do Not Mean What They Say, Your Customers Do Not Mean What They Say Your Customers Do Not Mean What They Say, Your Customers Do Not Mean What They Say, Your Customers Do Not Mean What They Say, Your Customers Do Not Mean What They Say Jagger, Do Lots of Deliberate Practice, Do Lots of Deliberate Practice, Do Lots of Deliberate Practice, Make the Invisible More Visible, Make the Invisible More Visible, Make the Invisible More Visible Do Lots of Deliberate Practice, Do Lots of Deliberate Practice, Do Lots of Deliberate Practice, Do Lots of Deliberate Practice Make the Invisible More Visible, Make the Invisible More Visible, Make the Invisible More Visible, Make the Invisible More Visible Java, Distinguish Business Exceptions from Technical, Encapsulate Behavior, Not Just State, The Golden Rule of API Design, Know Your IDE, Test for Required Behavior, Not Incidental Behavior, Write Small Functions Using Examples K Karlsson, Code Reviews, Code Reviews, Code Reviews Code Reviews, Code Reviews, Code Reviews, Code Reviews keeping a sustainable pace, Hard Work Does Not Pay Off, Hard Work Does Not Pay Off, Hard Work Does Not Pay Off Kelly, Check Your Code First Before Looking to Blame Others, Check Your Code First Before Looking to Blame Others, Check Your Code First Before Looking to Blame Others, Two Wrongs Can Make a Right (and Are Difficult to Fix), Two Wrongs Can Make a Right (and Are Difficult to Fix), Two Wrongs Can Make a Right (and Are Difficult to Fix) Check Your Code First Before Looking to Blame Others, Check Your Code First Before Looking to Blame Others, Check Your Code First Before Looking to Blame Others, Check Your Code First Before Looking to Blame Others Two Wrongs Can Make a Right (and Are Difficult to Fix), Two Wrongs Can Make a Right (and Are Difficult to Fix), Two Wrongs Can Make a Right (and Are Difficult to Fix), Two Wrongs Can Make a Right (and Are Difficult to Fix) Klumpp, Two Wrongs Can Make a Right (and Are Difficult to Fix) L Landre, Encapsulate Behavior, Not Just State Encapsulate Behavior, Encapsulate Behavior, Not Just State languages, Don't Just Learn the Language, Understand Its Culture, Don't Just Learn the Language, Understand Its Culture, Don't Just Learn the Language, Understand Its Culture layout of code, Code Layout Matters, Code Layout Matters, Code Layout Matters learning, Continuous Learning Lee, Learn to Say, "Hello, World" Lewis, Don't Be Afraid to Break Things, Don't Be Afraid to Break Things, Don't Be Afraid to Break Things Don't Be Afraid to Break Things, Don't Be Afraid to Break Things, Don't Be Afraid to Break Things, Don't Be Afraid to Break Things libraries, Choose Your Tools with Care Lindner, Let Your Project Speak for Itself, Let Your Project Speak for Itself, Let Your Project Speak for Itself Let Your Project Speak for Itself, Let Your Project Speak for Itself, Let Your Project Speak for Itself, Let Your Project Speak for Itself LISP, Distinguish Business Exceptions from Technical logging, Verbose Logging Will Disturb Your Sleep M Marquardt, Learn Foreign Languages, Learn Foreign Languages, Learn Foreign Languages, The Longevity of Interim Solutions, The Longevity of Interim Solutions, The Longevity of Interim Solutions Learn Foreign Languages, Learn Foreign Languages, Learn Foreign Languages, Learn Foreign Languages The Longevity of Interim Solutions, The Longevity of Interim Solutions, The Longevity of Interim Solutions, The Longevity of Interim Solutions Martin, The Boy Scout Rule, The Boy Scout Rule, The Boy Scout Rule, The Boy Scout Rule, The Professional Programmer, The Professional Programmer, The Professional Programmer, The Single Responsibility Principle, The Single Responsibility Principle, The Single Responsibility Principle The Boy Scout Rule, The Boy Scout Rule, The Boy Scout Rule, The Boy Scout Rule, The Boy Scout Rule The Professional Programmer, The Professional Programmer, The Professional Programmer, The Professional Programmer The Single Responsibility Principle, The Single Responsibility Principle, The Single Responsibility Principle, The Single Responsibility Principle mentors, Continuous Learning Mercurial, Put Everything Under Version Control Meszaros, Write Tests for People, Write Tests for People, Write Tests for People Write Tests for People, Write Tests for People, Write Tests for People, Write Tests for People Metaphors We Live By, Read the Humanities Meyers, Make Interfaces Easy to Use Correctly and Hard to Use Incorrectly, Make Interfaces Easy to Use Correctly and Hard to Use Incorrectly, Make Interfaces Easy to Use Correctly and Hard to Use Incorrectly Make Interfaces Easy to Use Correctly and Hard to Use Incorrectly, Make Interfaces Easy to Use Correctly and Hard to Use Incorrectly, Make Interfaces Easy to Use Correctly and Hard to Use Incorrectly, Make Interfaces Easy to Use Correctly and Hard to Use Incorrectly Miller, Start from Yes, Start from Yes, Start from Yes Start from Yes, Start from Yes, Start from Yes, Start from Yes monitoring, Verbose Logging Will Disturb Your Sleep, Verbose Logging Will Disturb Your Sleep, Verbose Logging Will Disturb Your Sleep Monson-Haefel, Fulfill Your Ambitions with Open Source, Fulfill Your Ambitions with Open Source, Fulfill Your Ambitions with Open Source Fulfill Your Ambitions with Open Source, Fulfill Your Ambitions with Open Source, Fulfill Your Ambitions with Open Source, Fulfill Your Ambitions with Open Source multithreaded problems, Resist the Temptation of the Singleton Pattern, Resist the Temptation of the Singleton Pattern, Resist the Temptation of the Singleton Pattern singletons and, Resist the Temptation of the Singleton Pattern, Resist the Temptation of the Singleton Pattern, Resist the Temptation of the Singleton Pattern MySQL, Large, Interconnected Data Belongs to a Database N Nilsson, Thinking in States, Thinking in States, Thinking in States Thinking in States, Thinking in States, Thinking in States, Thinking in States Norås, Don't Just Learn the Language, Understand Its Culture Don't Just Learn the Language, Don't Just Learn the Language, Understand Its Culture North, Code in the Language of the Domain, Code in the Language of the Domain, Code in the Language of the Domain Code in the Language of the Domain, Code in the Language of the Domain, Code in the Language of the Domain, Code in the Language of the Domain Norvig, Do Lots of Deliberate Practice O Ølmheim, Beauty Is in Simplicity, Beauty Is in Simplicity, Beauty Is in Simplicity Beauty Is in Simplicity, Beauty Is in Simplicity, Beauty Is in Simplicity, Beauty Is in Simplicity open source, Fulfill Your Ambitions with Open Source, Large, Interconnected Data Belongs to a Database, Read Code P pair programming, Pair Program and Feel the Flow, Two Heads Are Often Better Than One parallelism, Message Passing Leads to Better Scalability in Parallel Systems, Message Passing Leads to Better Scalability in Parallel Systems, Message Passing Leads to Better Scalability in Parallel Systems Pascal, Floating-Point Numbers Aren't Real, Know Well More Than Two Programming Languages Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time Pepperdine, The Road to Performance Is Littered with Dirty Code Bombs, The Road to Performance Is Littered with Dirty Code Bombs, The Road to Performance Is Littered with Dirty Code Bombs, WET Dilutes Performance Bottlenecks, WET Dilutes Performance Bottlenecks, WET Dilutes Performance Bottlenecks The Road to Performance Is Littered with Dirty Code Bombs, The Road to Performance Is Littered with Dirty Code Bombs, The Road to Performance Is Littered with Dirty Code Bombs, The Road to Performance Is Littered with Dirty Code Bombs WET Dilutes Performance Bottlenecks, WET Dilutes Performance Bottlenecks, WET Dilutes Performance Bottlenecks, WET Dilutes Performance Bottlenecks performance, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time management, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time Philosophical Investigations, Read the Humanities Plato, Beauty Is in Simplicity polymorphism, Missing Opportunities for Polymorphism, Missing Opportunities for Polymorphism, Missing Opportunities for Polymorphism Poppendieck, Do Lots of Deliberate Practice PostgreSQL, Large, Interconnected Data Belongs to a Database process bottlenecks, Code Reviews professional programmers, The Professional Programmer, The Professional Programmer, The Professional Programmer profiling tool, Use the Right Algorithm and Data Structure project management, Learn to Estimate Prolog, Know Well More Than Two Programming Languages R RDBMS systems, Large, Interconnected Data Belongs to a Database, Large, Interconnected Data Belongs to a Database, Large, Interconnected Data Belongs to a Database readability of code, Beauty Is in Simplicity, Convenience Is Not an -ility, Domain-Specific Languages, Prefer Domain-Specific Types to Primitive Types Reeves, Testing Is the Engineering Rigor of Software Development refactoring code, Before You Refactor reinventing the wheel, Reinvent the Wheel Often removing code, Improve Code by Removing It, Simplicity Comes from Reduction repetition, Do Lots of Deliberate Practice, Don't Repeat Yourself practice, Do Lots of Deliberate Practice process, Don't Repeat Yourself repetitive tasks, Step Back and Automate, Automate, Automate response time, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time return code, Don't Ignore That Error!

After that, the people who excel are the ones who work the hardest. There is little point to deliberately practicing something you are already an expert at. Deliberate practice means practicing something you are not good at. Peter Norvig explains: The key [to developing expertise] is deliberative practice: not just doing it again and again, but challenging yourself with a task that is just beyond your current ability, trying it, analyzing your performance while and after doing it, and correcting any mistakes. And Mary Poppendieck writes: Deliberate practice does not mean doing what you are good at; it means challenging yourself, doing what you are not good at. So it's not necessarily fun. Deliberate practice is about learning—learning that changes you, learning that changes your behavior. Good luck


Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, business climate, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, David Brooks, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Nate Silver, new economy, Nicholas Carr, popular electronics, remote working, Richard Feynman, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, statistical model, the medium is the message, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

Reason #3: The Work That Evening Downtime Replaces Is Usually Not That Important The final argument for maintaining a clear endpoint to your workday requires us to return briefly to Anders Ericsson, the inventor of deliberate practice theory. As you might recall from Part 1, deliberate practice is the systematic stretching of your ability for a given skill. It is the activity required to get better at something. Deep work and deliberate practice, as I’ve argued, overlap substantially. For our purposes here we can use deliberate practice as a general-purpose stand-in for cognitively demanding efforts. In Ericsson’s seminal 1993 paper on the topic, titled “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” he dedicates a section to reviewing what the research literature reveals about an individual’s capacity for cognitively demanding work.

This brings us to the question of what deliberate practice actually requires. Its core components are usually identified as follows: (1) your attention is focused tightly on a specific skill you’re trying to improve or an idea you’re trying to master; (2) you receive feedback so you can correct your approach to keep your attention exactly where it’s most productive. The first component is of particular importance to our discussion, as it emphasizes that deliberate practice cannot exist alongside distraction, and that it instead requires uninterrupted concentration. As Ericsson emphasizes, “Diffused attention is almost antithetical to the focused attention required by deliberate practice” (emphasis mine). As psychologists, Ericsson and the other researchers in his field are not interested in why deliberate practice works; they’re just identifying it as an effective behavior.

Cork, Ireland: Mercier Press, 1948. “the development and deepening of the mind”: Ibid., 13. Details about deliberate practice draw heavily on the following seminal survey paper on the topic: Ericsson, K.A., R.T. Krampe, and C. Tesch-Römer. “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance.” Psychological Review 100.3 (1993): 363–406. “We deny that these differences [between expert performers and normal adults] are immutable”: Ibid., 13. “Men of genius themselves”: from page 95 of Sertillanges, The Intellectual Life. “Diffused attention is almost antithetical to the focused attention required by deliberate practice”: from page 368 of Ericsson, Krampe, and Tesch-Romer. “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance.” Details on the neurobiology of expert performance can be found in: Coyle, The Talent Code.


Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models by Gabriel Weinberg, Lauren McCann

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, anti-pattern, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, bank run, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, business process, butterfly effect, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Attenborough, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Snowden, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, fear of failure, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, framing effect, friendly fire, fundamental attribution error, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hindsight bias, housing crisis, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, illegal immigration, income inequality, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, lateral thinking, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, mail merge, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, Milgram experiment, minimum viable product, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, p-value, Parkinson's law, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, Potemkin village, prediction markets, premature optimization, price anchoring, principal–agent problem, publication bias, recommendation engine, remote working, replication crisis, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Schrödinger's Cat, selection bias, Shai Danziger, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, survivorship bias, The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, uber lyft, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons

In any case, you should be aware of several mental models to help you think about how to receive or provide such guidance and mentorship. Psychologist K. Anders Ericsson has made a career studying the fastest way to get good at something, a model he calls deliberate practice. It works by deliberately putting people in situations at the limit of their abilities, where they are constantly practicing increasingly difficult skills and receiving consistent real-time feedback. As Ericsson noted in “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance”: “The differences between expert performers and normal adults reflect a life-long period of deliberate effort to improve performance in a specific domain.” Deliberate practice is more intensive than what you think of as regular practice. A kids’ soccer practice where the children spend the beginning of the session passing the ball back and forth is passing practice.

Tying it all together, activities in the high-conviction, low-consequence quadrant are perfect to help someone (or yourself) with deliberate practice. These are times when what should be done is known, so that coaching can happen effectively, and at the same time it won’t be so consequential to the organization if the associated tasks initially fail. These situations are perfect deliberate practice exercises where the particular tasks that are on (or just outside) the edge of someone’s ability are delegated, and then that person is given radically candid feedback about how to improve. That’s a compelling method to help people grow quickly, including in new roles. UNLOCKING POTENTIAL Certain psychological mental models repeatedly arise when you are helping people unlock their potential. First, even if someone agrees to the idea of pursuing deliberate practice and receiving radically candid feedback, the process simply doesn’t work very well if the person doesn’t have the right mindset.

However, it is not deliberate passing practice because the kids are not practicing at the edge of their abilities and also are not receiving real-time feedback on how to improve. Deliberate Practice Deliberate passing practice could take multiple forms. One example would be repeatedly trying to hit a target and getting coached on mistakes after each few tries. The goal could be to hit the target an increasing number of times in a row: first once, then three times, then five times, and so on. Once the last goal has been reached, then the target could be moved further away and the process repeated. This more focused type of passing practice is a more efficient way to improve passing skills. You may have heard of the so-called “10,000-Hour Rule,” which Malcolm Gladwell popularized in his book Outliers. Gladwell draws on Ericsson’s work and notes that world-class experts usually required ten thousand hours of deliberate practice to achieve world-class status.


pages: 406 words: 109,794

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Atul Gawande, Checklist Manifesto, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Exxon Valdez, Flynn Effect, Freestyle chess, functional fixedness, game design, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, precision agriculture, prediction markets, premature optimization, pre–internet, random walk, randomized controlled trial, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Walter Mischel, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, young professional

Tiger was not merely playing golf. He was engaging in “deliberate practice,” the only kind that counts in the now-ubiquitous ten-thousand-hours rule to expertise. The “rule” represents the idea that the number of accumulated hours of highly specialized training is the sole factor in skill development, no matter the domain. Deliberate practice, according to the study of thirty violinists that spawned the rule, occurs when learners are “given explicit instructions about the best method,” individually supervised by an instructor, supplied with “immediate informative feedback and knowledge of the results of their performance,” and “repeatedly perform the same or similar tasks.” Reams of work on expertise development shows that elite athletes spend more time in highly technical, deliberate practice each week than those who plateau at lower levels: Tiger has come to symbolize the idea that the quantity of deliberate practice determines success—and its corollary, that the practice must start as early as possible.

Except that Great Britain’s massive success at recent Summer Olympics, after decades of middling performances, was bolstered by programs set up specifically to recruit adults to try new sports and to create a pipeline for late developers—“slow bakers,” as one of the officials behind the program described them to me. Apparently the idea of an athlete, even one who wants to become elite, following a Roger path and trying different sports is not so absurd. Elite athletes at the peak of their abilities do spend more time on focused, deliberate practice than their near-elite peers. But when scientists examine the entire developmental path of athletes, from early childhood, it looks like this: Eventual elites typically devote less time early on to deliberate practice in the activity in which they will eventually become experts. Instead, they undergo what researchers call a “sampling period.” They play a variety of sports, usually in an unstructured or lightly structured environment; they gain a range of physical proficiencies from which they can draw; they learn about their own abilities and proclivities; and only later do they focus in and ramp up technical practice in one area.

Kasparov, 22, 23 “deep learning,” 91, 95, 97 de Groot, Adriaan, 24–25 Delbrück, Max, 274 deliberate amateurs, 274 deliberate practice about, 5 and distributed practice, 88 of elite athletes, 5–7, 5, 7, 18 head starts in, 15–18 and “kind” learning environments, 21 in music training, 64, 74 “desirable difficulties,” 85–88, 92, 95 Dewey, John, 115 discovery process, Dunbar’s documentation of, 117–19 distributed practice/“spacing,” 88–89, 96 Dodge, Wagner, 245 Domingos, Pedro, 179 Dregni, Michael, 76 Dubin, Ferdinand, 112–13 Duckworth, Angela, 132–35 Dunbar, Kevin, 117–19 Duncan, Greg, 92–93, 96–97 Duncker, Karl, 104–6 Dyson, Freeman, 200–201 early childhood education programs, 96–97, 97n early specialization in athletics, 1–2, 4–6, 287, 289 in chess, 16–19, 26 and deliberate practice, 6, 21 and earnings, 9 and “kind” learning environments, 21, 32 and “match quality” in vocations, 129–130, 157 in music-skills acquisition, 65, 67–68, 289 and pattern recognition, 26 and personal changes, 157 and savants, 32 and Tiger families, 64 Eastman, Scott, 224–25 Ebbinghaus illusion, 43, 43 Edison, Thomas, 288 education and choosing a field, 155 and critical thinking abilities, 47–53 of early and late specializers, 129–130 early childhood programs, 96–97, 97n and hint-giving practices, 82–83, 85, 87 interdisciplinary, 276–77 and “making connections” vs.


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The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money by Bryan Caplan

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, assortative mating, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, deliberate practice, deskilling, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, experimental subject, fear of failure, Flynn Effect, future of work, George Akerlof, ghettoisation, hive mind, job satisfaction, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, market bubble, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, profit maximization, publication bias, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, school choice, selection bias, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, twin studies, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, yield curve, zero-sum game

To really get good at their jobs, people must advance to deliberate practice. They must exit their comfort zone—raise the bar, struggle to surmount it, repeat. As Ericsson and coauthors explain: You need a particular kind of practice—deliberate practice—to develop expertise. When most people practice, they focus on the things they already know how to do. Deliberate practice is different. It entails considerable, specific, and sustained efforts to do something you can’t do well—or even at all.92 Attaining world-class expertise in chess, music, math, tennis, swimming, long-distance running, writing, and science requires many years of deliberate practice.93 Fortunately, the labor market offers plenty of subpinnacle opportunities. A few thousand hours of deliberate practice rarely makes you a superstar, but is ample time to get good in most occupations.94 People don’t become skilled workers by dabbling in a dozen different school subjects.

Ericsson, Krampe, and Tesch-Romer 1993, pp. 366, 391–92. They also make the stronger claim that deliberate practice is virtually the sole cause of expertise: “We attribute the dramatic differences in performance between experts and amateurs-novices to similarly large differences in the recorded amounts of deliberate practice. Furthermore, we can account for stable individual differences in performance among individuals actively involved in deliberate practice with reference to the monotonic relation between accumulated amount of deliberate practice and current level of performance” (p. 392). This research inspires Malcolm Gladwell’s famous “10,000 Hour Rule” (Gladwell 2008). But subsequent work shows deliberate practice is only one vital factor among many. Starting age, intelligence, personality, working memory, and beyond are also influential (Hambrick et al. 2014, Macnamara et al. 2014). 94.

Enlow, Robert, and Lenore Ealy, eds. 2006. Liberty and Learning: Milton Friedman’s Voucher Idea at Fifty. Washington, DC: Cato Institute. Epstein, David. 2006. “ ‘Hotness’ and Quality.” Inside Higher Education. May 8. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/05/08/rateprof. Ericsson, K. 2008. “Deliberate Practice and Acquisition of Expert Performance: A General Overview.” Academic Emergency Medicine 15 (11): 988–94. Ericsson, K., Ralf Krampe, and Clemens Tesch-Romer. 1993. “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance.” Psychological Review 100 (3): 363–406. Ericsson, K., Michael Prietula, and Edward Cokely. 2007. “The Making of an Expert.” Harvard Business Review 85 (7–8): 114–21. Euteneuer, Frank. 2014. “Subjective Social Status and Health.” Current Opinion in Psychiatry 27 (5): 337–43.


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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, call centre, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, game design, hive mind, index card, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, new economy, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, traveling salesman, twin studies, Walter Mischel, web application, white flight

Imagine a group class—you’re the one generating the move only a small percentage of the time.” To see Deliberate Practice in action, we need look no further than the story of Stephen Wozniak. The Homebrew meeting was the catalyst that inspired him to build that first PC, but the knowledge base and work habits that made it possible came from another place entirely: Woz had deliberately practiced engineering ever since he was a little kid. (Ericsson says that it takes approximately ten thousand hours of Deliberate Practice to gain true expertise, so it helps to start young.) In iWoz, Wozniak describes his childhood passion for electronics, and unintentionally recounts all the elements of Deliberate Practice that Ericsson emphasizes. First, he was motivated: his father, a Lockheed engineer, had taught Woz that engineers could change people’s lives and were “among the key people in the world.”

Anders Ericsson et al., “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review 100, no. 3 (1993): 363–406. 27. “Serious study alone”: Neil Charness et al., “The Role of Deliberate Practice in Chess Expertise,” Applied Cognitive Psychology 19 (2005): 151–65. 28. College students who tend to study alone: David Glenn, “New Book Lays Failure to Learn on Colleges’ Doorsteps,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 18, 2001. 29. Even elite athletes in team sports: Starkes and Ericsson, “Expert Performance in Sports: Advances in Research on Sports Expertise,” Human Kinetics (2003): 67–71. 30. In many fields, Ericsson told me: Interview with the author, April 13, 2010. 31. ten thousand hours of Deliberate Practice: By the age of eighteen, the best violinists in the Berlin Music Academy study had spent an average of over 7,000 hours practicing alone, about 2,000 hours more than the good violinists, and 4,000 hours more than the music teachers. 32.

Even elite athletes in team sports often spend unusual amounts of time in solitary practice. What’s so magical about solitude? In many fields, Ericsson told me, it’s only when you’re alone that you can engage in Deliberate Practice, which he has identified as the key to exceptional achievement. When you practice deliberately, you identify the tasks or knowledge that are just out of your reach, strive to upgrade your performance, monitor your progress, and revise accordingly. Practice sessions that fall short of this standard are not only less useful—they’re counterproductive. They reinforce existing cognitive mechanisms instead of improving them. Deliberate Practice is best conducted alone for several reasons. It takes intense concentration, and other people can be distracting. It requires deep motivation, often self-generated. But most important, it involves working on the task that’s most challenging to you personally.


pages: 329 words: 93,655

Moonwalking With Einstein by Joshua Foer

Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Berlin Wall, conceptual framework, deliberate practice, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, lifelogging, mental accounting, patient HM, pattern recognition, Rubik’s Cube, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, zero-sum game

I might also mention that this works as an excellent idea-generator and constitutes sound afternoon entertainment.” 171 lesser skaters work more on jumps they’ve already mastered: J. M. Deakin and S. Cobley (2003), “A Search for Deliberate Practice: An Examination of the Practice Environments in Figureskating and Volleyball,” in Expert Performance in Sports: Advances in Research on Sport Expertise (edited by J. L. Starkes and K. A. Ericsson). 172 trying to understand the expert’s thinking at each step: K. A. Ericsson, et al. (1993), “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review 100 no. 3, 363-406. 172 working through old games: N. Charness, R. Krampe, and U. Mayer (1996), “The Role of Practice and Coaching in Entrepreneurial Skill Domains: An International Comparison of Life-Span Chess Skill Acquisition,” in Ericsson, The Road to Excellence, pp. 51-80. 172 repeatedly flashed words 10 to 15 percent faster: Dvorak, Typewriting Behavior. 173 have a tendency to get less and less accurate over the years: C.

But Ericsson and his fellow expert performance psychologists have found over and over again that with the right kind of concerted effort, that’s rarely the case. They believe that Galton’s wall often has much less to do with our innate limits than simply with what we consider an acceptable level of performance. What separates experts from the rest of us is that they tend to engage in a very directed, highly focused routine, which Ericsson has labeled “deliberate practice.” Having studied the best of the best in many different fields, he has found that top achievers tend to follow the same general pattern of development. They develop strategies for consciously keeping out of the autonomous stage while they practice by doing three things: focusing on their technique, staying goal-oriented, and getting constant and immediate feedback on their performance. In other words, they force themselves to stay in the “cognitive phase.”

In other words, they force themselves to stay in the “cognitive phase.” Amateur musicians, for example, are more likely to spend their practice time playing music, whereas pros are more likely to work through tedious exercises or focus on specific, difficult parts of pieces. The best ice skaters spend more of their practice time trying jumps that they land less often, while lesser skaters work more on jumps they’ve already mastered. Deliberate practice, by its nature, must be hard. When you want to get good at something, how you spend your time practicing is far more important than the amount of time you spend. In fact, in every domain of expertise that’s been rigorously examined, from chess to violin to basketball, studies have found that the number of years one has been doing something correlates only weakly with level of performance.


pages: 321 words: 92,828

Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed With Early Achievement by Rich Karlgaard

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bernie Madoff, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, fear of failure, financial independence, follow your passion, Frederick Winslow Taylor, hiring and firing, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Sand Hill Road, science of happiness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, Toyota Production System, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, working poor

“Local leagues have been nudged”: Sean Gregory, “How Kid Sports Turned Pro,” Time, August 24, 2017. “deliberate practice”: On Anders Ericsson, see K. Anders Ericsson, Ralf T. Krampe, and Clemens Tesch-Römer. “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review 100, no. 3 (1993): 363; K. Anders Ericsson, “Deliberate Practice and the Acquisition and Maintenance of Expert Performance in Medicine and Related Domains,” Academic Medicine 79, no. 10 (2004): S70–S81; K. Anders Ericsson, “The Influence of Experience and Deliberate Practice on the Development of Superior Expert Performance,” in The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, ed. K. Anders Ericsson, Neil Charness, Roberft R. Hoffman, and Paul J. Feltovich 38 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006); K. Anders Ericsson, “Deliberate Practice and Acquisition of Expert Performance: A General Overview,” Academic Emergency Medicine 15, no. 11 (2008): 988–994; K.

They have to practice the right way—in a way that conforms to research psychologist Anders Ericsson’s concept of “deliberate practice.” As described by Ericsson, famous for his ten-thousand-hour concept discussed in Malcolm Gladwell’s 2008 bestselling Outliers, deliberate practice involves the systematic pursuit of personal improvement by focusing on well-defined, specific goals and areas of expertise. Parents who want their child to practice deliberately must hire a teacher or coach who has a demonstrated ability to help others improve the desired area—say chess, ballet, or music—and who can also give continuous feedback. It also requires your child to constantly practice outside his or her comfort zone. Writing about her eleven-year-old son, author and entrepreneur Penelope Trunk perfectly described the rigor—and madness—of deliberate practice. Her son, auditioning as a cellist for Juilliard’s pre-college program, spent three hours every day for six months learning to play one four-minute song.

He learned to play each measure with a different metronome timing, and then he played the piece so slowly it took twenty minutes instead of just four.” At one point, her son and his private cello teacher spent one hour practicing five notes. And yes, he made the cut at Juilliard. With concentration, it seems, any child can be taught to be a prima ballerina or chess champion, a mathematics prodigy or a Michelin-star chef. According to the prevailing theories on grit, focus, and practice, any child with enough deliberate practice—and parents with a lot of money—can become a concert-level cellist or an Olympic equestrian. The experience of trying to reach that level can help them get into college and later, land the perfect job. So what could possibly be the downside to these trends? * * * For too many children, this intense pressure for early achievement is damaging to their physical and mental health.


pages: 204 words: 54,395

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

affirmative action, call centre, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, deliberate practice, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, functional fixedness, game design, George Akerlof, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, performance metric, profit maximization, profit motive, Results Only Work Environment, side project, the built environment, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, zero-sum game

MOVE FIVE STEPS CLOSER TO MASTERY O ne key to mastery is what Florida State University psychology professor Anders Ericsson calls deliberate practice a lifelong period of . . . effort to improve performance in a specific domain. Deliberate practice isn't running a few miles each day or banging on the piano for twenty minutes each morning. It's much more purposeful, focused, and, yes, painful. Follow these steps over and over again for a decade and you just might become a master: ¥ Remember that deliberate practice has one objective: to improve performance. People who play tennis once a week for years don't get any better if they do the same thing each time, Ericsson has said. Deliberate practice is about changing your performance, setting new goals and straining yourself to reach a bit higher each time. ¥ Repeat, repeat, repeat .

Type I Insight : Finite players play within boundaries; infinite players play with boundaries. Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else BY GEOFF COLVIN What's the difference between those who are pretty good at what they do and those who are masters? Fortune magazine's Colvin scours the evidence and shows that the answer is threefold: practice, practice, practice. But it's not just any practice, he says. The secret is deliberate practice highly repetitive, mentally demanding work that's often unpleasant, but undeniably effective. Type I Insight : If you set a goal of becoming an expert in your business, you would immediately start doing all kinds of things you don't do now. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI It's tough to find a better argument for working hard at something you love than Csikszentmihalyi's landmark book on optimal experiences.

Mastery begins with flow optimal experiences when the challenges we face are exquisitely matched to our abilities. Smart workplaces therefore supplement day-to-day activities with Goldilocks tasks not too hard and not too easy. But mastery also abides by three peculiar rules. Mastery is a mindset: It requires the capacity to see your abilities not as finite, but as infinitely improvable. Mastery is a pain: It demands effort, grit, and deliberate practice. And mastery is an asymptote: It's impossible to fully realize, which makes it simultaneously frustrating and alluring. Chapter 6. Purpose Humans, by their nature, seek purpose a cause greater and more enduring than themselves. But traditional businesses have long considered purpose ornamental a perfectly nice accessory, so long as it didn't get in the way of the important things. But that's changing thanks in part to the rising tide of aging baby boomers reckoning with their own mortality.


pages: 304 words: 84,396

Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success by Matthew Syed

barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, combinatorial explosion, deliberate practice, desegregation, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, Isaac Newton, Norman Mailer, pattern recognition, placebo effect, zero-sum game

provided the perfect conditions for feedback: The importance of feedback can be seen across the essays in Ericsson et al., Cambridge Handbook of Expertise. For excellent studies relating to the application of feedback to medicine, see Dawes, House of Cards; and K. Anders Ericsson, “Deliberate Practice and the Acquisition and Maintenance of Expert Performance in Medicine and Related Domains,” Academic Medicine 79 (2004): S70–S81. Think about an amateur golfer: The application of the principles of purposeful practice in golf can be found in K. Anders Ericsson, “The Path to Expert Golf Performance: Insights from the Masters on How to Improve Performance by Deliberate Practice,” in Optimizing Performance in Golf, ed. P. R. Thomas, 1–57 (Brisbane, Australia: Australian Academic Press, 2001). “I never hit a shot”: Jack Nicklaus with Ken Bowden, Golf My Way, 79. Sport is, to use the jargon of economics, a zero-sum game: For an introduction to zero-sum games and other aspects of game theory see Robert Gibbons, Game Theory for Applied Economists (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1992). 4.

So far the focus in this book has been on the quantity of practice required to reach the top, and we’ve seen that it’s a staggering amount of time, stretching for a period of at least ten years. But now we are going to dig down into an even more vital facet of expertise, the quality of practice: the specialized learning used by top performers to attain master status and the deep concentration that is needed during each of those ten thousand hours to make them count. Ericsson calls it “deliberate practice,” to distinguish it from what most of the rest of us get up to. I am going to call it purposeful practice. Why? Because the practice sessions of aspiring champions have a specific and never-changing purpose: progress. Every second of every minute of every hour, the goal is to extend one’s mind and body, to push oneself beyond the outer limits of one’s capacities, to engage so deeply in the task that one leaves the training session, literally, a changed person.

THE HIDDEN LOGIC OF SUCCESS “I propose to show”: The quotes from Francis Galton are taken from Hereditary Genius: An Inquiry into Its Laws and Consequences (New York: D. Appleton, 1884). In 1991 Anders Ericsson: The study of violinists at the Music Academy of West Berlin is published in one of the most seminal papers in the study of expertise: K. Anders Ericsson, Ralf Th. Krampe, and Clemens Tesch-Romer, “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review 100, no. 3 (1993): 363–406. “There is absolutely no evidence of a ‘fast track’”: This view was based on a wide-ranging study of musical achievement: John A. Sloboda, Jane W. Davidson, Michael J. Howe, and Derek G. Moore, “The Role of Practice in the Development of Performing Musicians,” British Journal of Psychology 87 (1996): 287–309.


pages: 256 words: 60,620

Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition by Michael J. Mauboussin

affirmative action, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, butter production in bangladesh, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Edward Thorp, experimental economics, financial innovation, framing effect, fundamental attribution error, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Akerlof, hindsight bias, hiring and firing, information asymmetry, libertarian paternalism, Long Term Capital Management, loose coupling, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, Murray Gell-Mann, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, Philip Mirowski, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, presumed consent, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, ultimatum game

Intuition fails when you are dealing with a changing system, especially one that has phase transitions. Despite its near-magical connotation, intuition is losing relevance in an increasingly complex world. Let me re-emphasize one point. I suggested that people become experts by using deliberate practice to train their experiential systems. Deliberate practice has a very specific meaning: it includes activities designed to improve performance, has repeatable tasks, incorporates high-quality feedback, and is not much fun. Most people—even alleged experts—do not come close to satisfying the conditions of deliberate practice and, accordingly, do not develop the necessary abilities for reliable intuition.24 How Homogeneity Contributes to the Whims of the Crowd Now that I have extolled the virtues of computers and crowds, let me sound a warning in this chapter’s final mistake: leaning too much on either formula-based approaches or the wisdom of crowds.

In Kahneman’s model, System 1 uses perception and intuition to generate impressions of objects or problems. These impressions are involuntary, and an individual may not be able to explain them. Kahneman argues that System 2 is involved in all judgments, whether or not the individual makes the decision consciously. So intuition is a judgment that reflects an impression.22 Through substantial, deliberate practice in a particular domain, experts can train and populate their experiential systems. So a chess master can size up the positions on the board very quickly, and an athlete knows what to do in a certain game situation. Effectively, the experts internalize the salient features of the system they are dealing with, freeing attention for higher-level, analytical thinking. This explains a number of the universal characteristics of experts, including the following:23 • Experts perceive patterns in their areas of expertise

Finally, if you offer constructive criticism on someone else’s performance, make sure you focus your comments on the skill component. This is by definition the only part of the process that an individual can control. It is too easy to conflate skill and luck in providing criticism. Get Feedback. One of the best ways to improve decision making is through timely, accurate, and clear feedback. This type of feedback is central to deliberate practice, the essential ingredient in developing expertise. The problem is that the quality of feedback varies widely for different domains. In some realms, like weather forecasting and gambling, the feedback is quick and precise. In other fields, including long-term investing and business strategies, the feedback comes with a lag and is often ambiguous. To illustrate, research shows that weather forecasters tend to predict more accurately than financial analysts do, reflecting both the system and the feedback.4 The premise behind the value of feedback is that you actually want to hear it.


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Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, attribution theory, augmented reality, barriers to entry, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filter Bubble, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, popular electronics, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, superconnector

And one of the best online sources for quick biographical information on each of these men is compiled by researchers James Fieser and Bradley Dowden, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (blog), http://www.iep.utm.edu/ (accessed February 15, 2014). 38 adventure stories often adhere to a template: The comprehensive text on the hero’s journey is Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Princeton University Press, 1972). 38 Research from Brunel University: There has been much discussion about the role of practice versus talent since Dr. K. Anders Ericsson of Florida State University showed how “deliberate practice” can produce experts in sports and cognitively complex fields like chess, in spite of (and as a necessary supplement to) natural talent. (Malcolm Gladwell popularized Ericsson’s findings as the “10,000 hour rule” in his excellent 2008 book, Outliers: The Story of Success.) Further research on chess players, in particular, has showed that in addition to deliberate practice, training with a great coach increases students’ competition performance: Guillermo Campitelli and Fernand Gobet, “The Role of Domain-Specific Practice, Handedness and Starting Age in Chess,” Developmental Psychology 41, no. 1 (2007): 159–72.

He says that, like C.K., we can spend thousands of hours practicing until we master a skill, or we can convince a world-class practitioner to guide our practice and cut the time to mastery significantly. Research from Brunel University shows that chess students who trained with coaches increased on average 168 points in their national ratings versus those who didn’t. Though long hours of deliberate practice are unavoidable in the cognitively complex arena of chess, the presence of a coach for mentorship gives players a clear advantage. Chess prodigy Joshua Waitzkin (the subject of the film Searching for Bobby Fischer) for example, accelerated his career when national chess master Bruce Pandolfini discovered him playing chess in Washington Square Park in New York as a boy. Pandolfini coached young Waitzkin one on one, and the boy won a slew of chess championships, setting a world record at an implausibly young age.

Tice, “Making Choices Impairs Subsequent Self-Control: A Limited-Resource Account of Decision Making, Self-Regulation, and Active Initiative,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 94, no. 5 (2008): 883–98. 164 doubled Apple’s mouse market share: Neil Hughes and Kasper Jade, “Magic Mouse Helps Apple Double Share of Market in 8 Weeks,” Apple Insider (blog), December 29, 2009, http://appleinsider.com/articles/09/12/29/magic_mouse_helps_apple_double_share_of_market_in_8_weeks. 164 “1,000 songs in your pocket”: “Apple Press Info,” Apple, http://www.apple.com/pr/products/ipodhistory/ (accessed February 17, 2014). 167 kids who are tenaciously: Focused kids win spelling bees over kids with higher IQs, according to Angela Lee Duckworth, Teri A. Kirby, Eli Tsukayama, Heather Berstein, and K. Anders Ericsson, “Deliberate Practice Spells Success: Why Grittier Competitors Triumph at the National Spelling Bee,” Social Psychological and Personality Science 2, no. 2 (2010): 174–81. 167 simplicity as “the ultimate sophistication”: This quote is attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, though the attribution has never been validated by an original source. According to Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs was fond of the quote and it was an early Apple slogan.


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Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines by Thomas H. Davenport, Julia Kirby

AI winter, Andy Kessler, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, business intelligence, business process, call centre, carbon-based life, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, commoditize, conceptual framework, dark matter, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, fixed income, follow your passion, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, game design, general-purpose programming language, global pandemic, Google Glasses, Hans Lippershey, haute cuisine, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, inventory management, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, lifelogging, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter Thiel, precariat, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, social intelligence, speech recognition, spinning jenny, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Works Progress Administration, Zipcar

His quest for a universal theory of expertise spans, as his faculty page at Florida State University notes, domains as varied as “music, science, golf, and darts.” For him a decade is more or less required not because of the number of information chunks one must encounter but because it takes that long for a motivated learner to log 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice.” In his most cited paper, he and his colleagues sum up the results of their careful analysis: “Individual differences, even among elite performers, are closely related to assessed amounts of deliberate practice. Many characteristics once believed to reflect innate talent are actually the result of intense practice extended for a minimum of 10 years.”5 Are there any shortcuts? A famous quote from computer scientist Alan Kay—“The best way to predict the future is to invent it”—suggests there might be at least one: You could pioneer a new field.

Let’s assume, then, that you are going to be stepping aside in your own work—letting computers take over easily codified work and doubling down on your noncognitive strengths. First: Avail yourself of whatever training in this realm your company offers—and take the learning process seriously. Beyond that, how will you build such skills for yourself? Mainly in two ways: by learning from mentors, and by engaging in self-reflective, deliberate practice. Ryan McDonough is, today, the general manager of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns (although he’s more familiar to us from the decade he spent in the Boston Celtics organization). Basketball, it might surprise you to learn, is one of the hottest areas right now for applying analytics and McDonough is known as an analytics-oriented guy. “It’s changed how we scout players in the NBA,” he told a reporter, “changed how we look at guys for the draft.”

To sum up a tremendous body of work in a few sentences, the emerging practical message of this line of work is that, when we look upon a master in some field, we are not seeing someone of ineffable, innate genius. Rather, we are seeing someone who began with a clear sense of direction and proceeded down that path with extraordinary commitment. Their success is the product of relevant training, deliberate practice, and motivational drive. This was the conclusion of Michael Howe, a cognitive psychologist who devoted his career to the study of exceptional intelligence.4 And it resonates with the famous estimate by Herbert Simon that, on the way to becoming an expert in a substantial topic, a learner engages with roughly 50,000 chunks of information related to it—a mountain of data typically requiring ten years to climb.


pages: 387 words: 119,409

Work Rules!: Insights From Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, citizen journalism, clean water, correlation coefficient, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, helicopter parent, immigration reform, Internet Archive, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, nudge unit, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, random walk, Richard Thaler, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, survivorship bias, TaskRabbit, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tony Hsieh, Turing machine, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

Damon Dunn, story told at the celebration of the naming of the William V. Campbell Trophy, Stanford University, Palo Alto, September 8, 2009; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damon_Dunn. 144. K. Anders Ericsson, “Deliberate Practice and the Acquisition and Maintenance of Expert Performance in Medicine and Related Domains,” Academic Medicine 79, no. 10 (2004): S 70-S 81, http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Fulltext/2004/10001/Deliberate_Practice_and_the_Acquisition_and.22.aspx/. 145. Angela Lee Duckworth, Teri A. Kirby, Eli Tsukayama, Heather Berstein, and K. Anders Ericsson, “Deliberate Practice Spells Success: Why Grittier Competitors Triumph at the National Spelling Bee,” Social Psychological and Personality Science 2, no. 2 (2011): 174–181, http://spp.sagepub.com/content/2/2/174.short. 146. Andrew S.

He finds evidence that people who attain mastery of a field, whether they are violinists, surgeons, athletes,144 or even spelling bee champions,145 approach learning in a different way from the rest of us. They shard their activities into tiny actions, like hitting the same golf shot in the rain for hours, and repeat them relentlessly. Each time, they observe what happens, make minor—almost imperceptible—adjustments, and improve. Ericsson refers to this as deliberate practice: intentional repetitions of similar, small tasks with immediate feedback, correction, and experimentation. Simple practice, without feedback and experimentation, is insufficient. I was on my high school’s swim team, and among other events competed in the exhausting 200-yard individual medley: fifty yards each of butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle. I joined because I was faster than my friends, and my uncle had played on the Romanian national water polo team, so I guessed I might have had some natural predisposition.

Between my freshman and senior years, my best times improved by almost 30 percent, but in a typical heat of six swimmers, I’d still have to fight like crazy to come in fifth. Ericsson could have told me right away what my problem was. I showed up to practice twice a day and swam whatever the coach said to swim, but I couldn’t teach myself and was never good enough for the coach to invest even a few minutes in helping me improve my technique. I never experienced deliberate practice. As a result, I got somewhat better, but never had a chance of performing at a high level. In contrast, McKinsey used to send all second-year consultants to their Engagement Leadership Workshop, a one-week session for about fifty people at a time. The seminars ran throughout the year, rotating between Switzerland, Singapore, and the United States. I, of course, was sent to New Jersey. One of the skills we were taught was how to respond to a furious client.


pages: 257 words: 68,203

The Talent Code: Greatest Isn't Born, It's Grown, Here's How by Daniel Coyle

Albert Einstein, Bob Geldof, deliberate practice, experimental subject, impulse control, longitudinal study, Ralph Waldo Emerson

Along with his colleagues in this field, Ericsson established a remarkable foundation of work (documented in several books and most recently in the appropriately Bible-size Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance). Its central tenet is a Gibraltar-like statistic: every expert in every field is the result of around ten thousand hours of committed practice. Ericsson called this process “deliberate practice” and defined it as working on technique, seeking constant critical feedback, and focusing ruthlessly on shoring up weaknesses. (For practical purposes, we can consider “deliberate practice” and “deep practice” to be basically the same thing—though since he's a psychologist, Ericsson's term refers to the mental state, not to myelin. For the record, he is attracted to the idea. “I find the correlation [between myelin and skill] very interesting,” he told me.) Along with researchers like Herbert Simon and Bill Chase, Ericsson validated hallmarks like the Ten-Year Rule, an intriguing finding dating to 1899, which says that world-class expertise in every domain (violin, math, chess, and so on) requires roughly a decade of committed practice.

., “Cognitive Functions Correlate with White Matter Architecture in Normal Pediatric Population,” Human Brain Mapping 26 (2005), 139–47; E. M. Miller, “Intelligence and Brain Myelination: A Hypothesis,” Personality and Individual Differences 17 (1994), 803–32; and B. T Gold et al., “Speed of Lexical Decision Correlates with Diffusion Anisotropy in Left Parietal and Frontal White Matter,” Neuropsychologia 45 (2007), 2439–46. A sampling of Anders Ericsson's work on deliberate practice can be found in Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006), which he coedited with Neil Charness, Paul Feltovich, and Robert Hoffman; Expert Performance in Sports (Champaign, Ill.: Human Kinetics, 2003), which Ericsson coedited with Janet L. Starkes; and The Road to Excellence (Mahwah, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996). A fine overview can also be found in his article, coauthored with Neil Charness, “Expert Performance: Its Structure and Acquisition,” American Psychologist 49, no. 8 (1994), 725–47; and in Michael J.

A fine overview can also be found in his article, coauthored with Neil Charness, “Expert Performance: Its Structure and Acquisition,” American Psychologist 49, no. 8 (1994), 725–47; and in Michael J. A. Howe, Jane W. Davidson, and John A. Sloboda, “Innate Talents: Reality or Myth,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (1998), 399–407. Not quite as crucial, but nevertheless entertaining, is the fact that deep practice also works with other species (myelin is myelin, after all). See W. S. Helton, “Deliberate Practice in Dogs: A Canine Model of Expertise,” Journal of General Psychology 134, no. 2 (2007), 247–57. CHAPTER 3: THE BRONTËS, THE Z-BOYS, AND THE RENAISSANCE Juliet Barker's The Brontës (New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 1994) does an outstanding job of covering the biographical ground. See also Ann Loftus McGreevy, “The Parsonage Children: An Analysis of the Creative Early Years of the Brontës at Haworth,” Gifted Child Quarterly 39, no. 3 (1995), 146–53, as well as the illuminating analysis of the Brontës, George Eliot, and Charles Dickens in Michael J.


pages: 170 words: 46,126

The 1% Rule: How to Fall in Love With the Process and Achieve Your Wildest Dreams by Tommy Baker

"side hustle", Cal Newport, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, Elon Musk, knowledge worker, Parkinson's law, passive income, Steve Jobs

In an instant-gratification, highlight-driven, shallow-work world, your pursuit of mastery puts you heads and shoulders above the others and stands the test of time. This concept of mastering your craft has some crucial components, including: Deliberate practice: Pursuing mastery means you’ll be practicing. Specifically, you’ll embrace deliberate practice. Made famous by Daniel Coyle in The Talent Code (Coyle 2009), this means pushing yourself to the edge of discomfort during practice to the place where you want to give up. It’s easy to practice a skill and do what we’re good at. Can you instead spend the time on what challenges you? Invest thousands of hours: Mastery takes time, there’s no way around it. Expect to invest in thousands of hours to deliberate practice as you sharpen your skills. Whether it’s mastering communication or marketing, there’s no shortcut to get you there. Sure, there are ways to speed up the process, but don’t believe the hype.


pages: 301 words: 78,638

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

"side hustle", Atul Gawande, Cal Newport, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive dissonance, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, financial independence, invisible hand, Lao Tzu, late fees, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Paul Graham, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Saturday Night Live, survivorship bias, Walter Mischel

The less energy you spend on trivial choices, the more you can spend it on what really matters. However, when you want to maximize your potential and achieve elite levels of performance, you need a more nuanced approach. You can’t repeat the same things blindly and expect to become exceptional. Habits are necessary, but not sufficient for mastery. What you need is a combination of automatic habits and deliberate practice. Habits + Deliberate Practice = Mastery To become great, certain skills do need to become automatic. Basketball players need to be able to dribble without thinking before they can move on to mastering layups with their nondominant hand. Surgeons need to repeat the first incision so many times that they could do it with their eyes closed, so that they can focus on the hundreds of variables that arise during surgery.

The strategy is to pair an action you want to do with an action you need to do. 9 The Role of Family and Friends in Shaping Your Habits IN 1965, a Hungarian man named Laszlo Polgar wrote a series of strange letters to a woman named Klara. Laszlo was a firm believer in hard work. In fact, it was all he believed in: he completely rejected the idea of innate talent. He claimed that with deliberate practice and the development of good habits, a child could become a genius in any field. His mantra was “A genius is not born, but is educated and trained.” Laszlo believed in this idea so strongly that he wanted to test it with his own children—and he was writing to Klara because he “needed a wife willing to jump on board.” Klara was a teacher and, although she may not have been as adamant as Laszlo, she also believed that with proper instruction, anyone could advance their skills.

Everything is impermanent. Life is constantly changing, so you need to periodically check in to see if your old habits and beliefs are still serving you. A lack of self-awareness is poison. Reflection and review is the antidote. Chapter Summary The upside of habits is that we can do things without thinking. The downside is that we stop paying attention to little errors. Habits + Deliberate Practice = Mastery Reflection and review is a process that allows you to remain conscious of your performance over time. The tighter we cling to an identity, the harder it becomes to grow beyond it. Conclusion The Secret to Results That Last THERE IS AN ancient Greek parable known as the Sorites Paradox,* which talks about the effect one small action can have when repeated enough times.


pages: 292 words: 94,324

How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman

affirmative action, Atul Gawande, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, fear of failure, framing effect, index card, iterative process, lateral thinking, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, pattern recognition, placebo effect, stem cell, theory of mind

See "Problems for clinical judgment: Eliciting an insightful history of present illness," Canadian Medical Association Journal 164 (2001), pp. 647–651; "Problems for clinical judgment: Obtaining a reliable past medical history," Canadian Medical Association Journal 164 (2001), pp. 809–813. Studies of expertise have been greatly advanced by K. Anders Ericsson, and the interested reader is directed to "The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance," Psychological Review 100 (1993), pp. 363–406; "Deliberate practice and the acquisition and maintenance of expert performance in medicine and related domains," Academic Medicine 79 (2004), pp. S70–S81. Geoff Norman is another leader in this area, and he recently reviewed how doctors can improve their skills in Geoff Norman et al., "Expertise in medicine and surgery," in The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, ed.

In revisiting the reasons for missing the diagnosis of aspirin toxicity, he pinpointed that he did not define what "a few" meant. Alter is now an expert in emergency medicine, and that level of performance comes from listening to feedback and understanding past mistakes. This is consistent with the studies of Ericsson and Norman referred to previously: K. Anders Ericsson et al., "The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance," Psychological Review 100 (1993), pp. 363406; Geoff Norman et al., "Expertise in medicine and surgery," in The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, ed. K. Anders Ericsson et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 339–353. A physician considering which test to order is aided by a knowledge of its predictive value, and this is one instance where Bayesian analysis works well, so long as there is a solid database about how the test performs in populations with the specific symptoms or findings on physical examination.

The illustration of the heart is adapted from Enchanted Learning, LLC. www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/anatomy/heart/labelinterior/labelanswers.shtml. The story about the medical meeting where cardiologists voted is derived from my interview with Dr. James Lock. Lock's perspective on what is needed to achieve a high level of expertise in cardiac catheterization and other procedures is supported by the work of K. Anders Ericsson et al., "The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance," Psychological Review 100 (1993), pp. 363406; Geoff Norman et al., "Expertise in medicine and surgery," in The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, ed. K. Anders Ericsson et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 339–353. For those interested in learning more about fetal distress and how the aspiration of meconium can injure the newborn, see Michael G.


pages: 302 words: 83,116

SuperFreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

agricultural Revolution, airport security, Andrei Shleifer, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Boris Johnson, call centre, clean water, cognitive bias, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Did the Death of Australian Inheritance Taxes Affect Deaths, disintermediation, endowment effect, experimental economics, food miles, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Nash: game theory, Joseph Schumpeter, Joshua Gans and Andrew Leigh, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, market design, microcredit, Milgram experiment, oil shale / tar sands, patent troll, presumed consent, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, selection bias, South China Sea, Stanford prison experiment, Stephen Hawking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, urban planning, William Langewiesche, women in the workforce, young professional

“But there is surprisingly little hard evidence that anyone could attain any kind of exceptional performance without spending a lot of time perfecting it.” Or, put another way, expert performers—whether in soccer or piano playing, surgery or computer programming—are nearly always made, not born.* And yes, just as your grandmother always told you, practice does make perfect. But not just willy-nilly practice. Mastery arrives through what Ericsson calls “deliberate practice.” This entails more than simply playing a C-minor scale a hundred times or hitting tennis serves until your shoulder pops out of its socket. Deliberate practice has three key components: setting specific goals; obtaining immediate feedback; and concentrating as much on technique as on outcome. The people who become excellent at a given thing aren’t necessarily the same ones who seemed to be “gifted” at a young age. This suggests that when it comes to choosing a life path, people should do what they love—yes, your nana told you this too—because if you don’t love what you’re doing, you are unlikely to work hard enough to get very good at it.

THE BIRTHDATE BULGE AND THE RELATIVE-AGE EFFECT: See Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt, “A Star Is Made,” The New York Times Magazine, May 7, 2006; K. Anders Ericsson, Neil Charness, Paul J. Feltovich, and Robert R. Hoffman, The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance (Cambridge University Press, 2006); K. Anders Ericsson, Ralf Th. Krampe, and Clemens Tesch-Romer, “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review 100, no. 3 (1993); Werner Helsen, Jan Van Winckel, and A. Mark Williams, “The Relative Age Effect in Youth Soccer Across Europe,” Journal of Sports Sciences 23, no. 6 (June 2005); and Greg Spira, “The Boys of Late Summer,” Slate, April 16, 2008. As explained in a footnote to this section, we originally planned to write a chapter in SuperFreakonomics on how talent is acquired—that is, when a person is very good at a given thing, what is it that makes him or her so good?


pages: 319 words: 90,965

The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere by Kevin Carey

Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, business cycle, business intelligence, carbon-based life, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, David Heinemeier Hansson, declining real wages, deliberate practice, discrete time, disruptive innovation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Downton Abbey, Drosophila, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google X / Alphabet X, informal economy, invention of the printing press, inventory management, John Markoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, Network effects, open borders, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pez dispenser, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, transcontinental railway, uber lyft, Vannevar Bush

The challenge in an age of universal education was to simulate the adaptability of the tutorial without having to hire a personal Aristotle for every student. This is what Suppes had been working on in his education lab. “The computer makes the individualization of instruction easier because it can be programmed to follow each student’s history of learning successes and failures and to use his past performance as a basis for selecting the new problems and new concepts to which he should be exposed next.” Suppes also understood that deliberate practice was integral to education, something that would later become a key part of Ericsson’s theory of expertise. Learning is work, a deliberate process of strengthening neural connections to the point where they operated automatically, creating a framework for understanding new information and freeing up mental capacity for learning more. The challenge, then, was giving each individual student the right kind of practice, work that would help him move from where he was to where he needed to be.

“The magnitude of the problem of evolving curriculum sequences is difficult to overestimate: the number of possible sequences of concepts and subject matter in elementary school mathematics alone is in excess of 10100, a number larger than even generous estimates of the total number of elementary particles in the universe.” He also knew that information technology could help find meaning in that complexity. There is a concept in psychology called “response latency”—the elapsed time between stimulus and response. For certain kinds of activities that have benefited from thousands of hours of deliberate practice, your neural connections are so strong that response latency is almost zero, such as when you see and recognize the word “encyclopedia.” When students answer questions on a computer, the machine can measure response latency down to the millisecond. It can tell whether you understand something automatically or have to devote precious mental energy to figuring it out. A great many aspects of human-computer interaction can be recorded and saved digitally, for tens or hundreds or thousands of students simultaneously, with perfect accuracy.

They will be less able to rely on the inherited privilege of being born into the right family and social class to move ahead. Rational education will be unforgiving in many ways. The academic standards that emerge from global learning communities will rise to the achievement of the most capable and dedicated students in the world. There won’t be any room to hide or slack off. There is not now and there never will be a substitute for the deliberate practice necessary to gain real expertise. The higher-learning organizations of the future will give students the right kinds of hard work to do, and they will recognize that work by awarding credible evidence of accomplishment. But they won’t do students’ work for them. What parents can do is to help their children build the intellectual and emotional tools they will need for these demanding and rewarding tasks


The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good by Robert H. Frank

carbon footprint, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, clean water, congestion charging, corporate governance, deliberate practice, full employment, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, positional goods, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rent control, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sealed-bid auction, smart grid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, winner-take-all economy

More typically, however, many of the ten thousand hours that eventually become the foundation of expertise are ones people would have been all too delighted to spend doing something else. As Ericsson and his co-authors note, truly effective practice time is actually quite demanding: 148 CHAPTER NINE You need a particular kind of practice—deliberate practice—to develop expertise. When most people practice, they focus on the things they already know how to do. Deliberate practice is different. It entails considerable, specific, and sustained efforts to do something you can’t do well—or even at all. Research across domains shows that it is only by working at what you can’t do that you turn into the expert you want to become.10 In short, getting really good at something is difficult. It demands considerable patience and determination.

See Conservation Reserve Program culture, in human behavior, 24 curve, grading on, 11, 23–24, 41–42, 211 Darwin, Charles: economists’ influence on, 16; as intellectual father of economics, 16–17; and market failures based on individual 231 versus group interests, 22–23, 30, 40–45, 85, 138; on population density, 85; on positional versus nonpositional goods, 72–74; on relative performance, 8–9, 21, 23–24; versus Smith, on competition, 7, 17–18, 211–12. See also natural selection data, regulations as, 75–76, 208 decision leverage, of CEOs, 151–52 deficit(s): aversion to, as argument against economic stimulus, 3; misconceptions about, 13; reduction of, through taxes on harmful activities, 14–15 deliberate practice, in development of expertise, 148 Denmark, lack of corruption in, 56 deontologists, 94–97 Digital Research, 144 Director, Aaron, 89 directory assistance, 114–15 Domenici, Pete, 81–82 Dubose, Ronald, 58–59 Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), 113 economic downturn of 2008, 52–55; consumption in, 53; government role in recovery from, 2–3, 53–55; savings rates in, 78; unemployment in, 2, 53–55 economic efficiency.


pages: 207 words: 57,959

Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge From Small Discoveries by Peter Sims

Amazon Web Services, Black Swan, Clayton Christensen, complexity theory, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, discovery of penicillin, endowment effect, fear of failure, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, Lean Startup, longitudinal study, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, PageRank, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, theory of mind, Toyota Production System, urban planning, Wall-E

After all, life is a creative process. It all begins with one little bet. What will yours be? Further Readings and Resources Trade Books Coyle, Daniel. The Talent Code. New York: Bantam, 2009. After months of wrestling with questions about the role of deliberate practice, including reviewing a broad swath of research and literature supporting the now-popularized “10,000-hour” rules, I found Daniel Coyle’s book to be surprisingly good. I ultimately decided not to include an additional chapter on the role of deliberate practice, especially given the strength of Carol Dweck’s research on mind-sets. Yet Coyle’s book is extremely well researched and written, and draws extensively upon neuroscience research about the role of myelin, the neural connections that one can develop and strengthen to develop their talents and capacities (like muscles in the brain) for anything from athletics to creative endeavors.


pages: 350 words: 109,379

How to Run a Government: So That Citizens Benefit and Taxpayers Don't Go Crazy by Michael Barber

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Checklist Manifesto, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, deliberate practice, facts on the ground, failed state, fear of failure, full employment, G4S, illegal immigration, invisible hand, libertarian paternalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Nate Silver, North Sea oil, obamacare, performance metric, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, school choice, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, transaction costs, WikiLeaks

There was a political confidence, even swagger about us; but it was born of our popularity with the country, not our fitness to change it …2 Since those years, I’ve watched governments – the Sarkozy administration in France, the Cameron government in Britain, or the recently elected Nawaz Sharif government in Pakistan – go through the learning process of answering the ‘How?’ question … as waves of hope crash on unforgiving rocks. Politics is an unforgiving business, and no one seems to think that a PM, a president or a minister needs to learn their way into the job, whereas in fact they are just like everyone else. And when you ask what it takes to become expert in a highly skilled role, the answer is surprisingly clear – it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. This means not just 10,000 hours of doing something, but systematically working on the skills required in a conscious way. The starting point, therefore, is self-knowledge – being able to admit you are not an expert already (which means ruling out those political leaders, no small number, who suffer from hubris). Work this out for a PM who has this self-knowledge: 300 days per year at ten hours a day gives you 3,000 hours work a year.

The message is clear: in the inevitable hubris following an election victory or an appointment as a minister, remain clear-eyed and humble. Set an agenda (chapter 1), review the current state of the bureaucracy on which you depend to deliver that agenda and establish an organization capable of delivering that agenda (chapter 2). Meanwhile, remember that, unless you already have 10,000 hours of deliberate practice behind you, you have a lot to learn – so make sure you create the circumstances in which you learn fast. As you do, set your strategy, the subject of the next chapter. 3 Strategy Someone in the meeting suggested that the word ‘preference’ would be easier to ‘sell’ to the unions and the Labour Party. ‘Choice’ might provoke a toxic reaction from either or both. I noted in my diary that Blair didn’t quite bang the table, but he might have done.

Learning from New York City, he had introduced Citistat, a successful attempt to drive Bratton-type reform through city government. The Wire had done him no favours, with its portrayal of a shady mayor playing both sides of the street, but O’Malley’s own track record was impressive. Baltimore, a city with multiple challenges, made progress under his stewardship, and in 2006 his success there catapulted him into the governorship and the mansion in Anapolis. He had done his 10,000 hours of deliberate practice and was well prepared to be a successful governor. ‘What’s the difference between a goal and a dream?’ he quips. ‘A deadline.’ Once installed in Anapolis, he combined his Citistat experience with a small delivery unit modelled on our experience in Britain. He says the ‘relentless discipline of delivery’ is the key ingredient of ‘a new way leadership’. Now, at the end of his second term, the results are plain.


pages: 407 words: 109,653

Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing by Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman

Asperger Syndrome, Berlin Wall, Charles Lindbergh, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, Edward Glaeser, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, game design, industrial cluster, Jean Tirole, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, phenotype, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, school choice, selection bias, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Steve Jobs, zero-sum game

Wolf, & Clemens Kirschbaum, “Stress on the Dance Floor: The Cortisol Stress Response to Social-Evaluative Threat in Competitive Ballroom Dancers,” Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, vol. 33(1), pp. 69–84 (2007) Rohleder, Nicolas, Correspondence with Author Rohleder, Nicolas, Interview with Author Strahler, et al. (2010) supra Expertise and 10,000 Hours: Adler, Amy, Interview with Author (2011) Ericsson, K. Andres, “The Influence of Experience and Deliberate Practice on the Development of Superior Expert Performance,” In: K. Anders Ericsson, Neil Charness, Paul J. Feltovich, & Robert R. Hoffman (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, ch. 38, pp. 683–703, New York: Cambridge University Press (2006) Ericsson, K. Andres, Ralf Th. Krampe, & Clemens Tesch-Römer, “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review, vol. 100(3), pp. 363–406 (1993) Gladwell, Malcolm, Outliers: The Story of Success, New York: Little, Brown & Co. (2008) Syed, Matthew, Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham & The Science of Success, New York: Harper (2010) 3.

To be successful, you have to be able to perform when it counts. You have to be able to handle that pressure. You need to not wilt in the competition. We wanted to know—what makes someone good at that? What the ballroom dancing study tells us is that the stress of competition doesn’t go away with experience. The inescapable conclusion is that years and years of practice are not, automatically, enough. In addition to the deliberate practice, success also depends on how well people compete. It hangs on how well they handle that psychoendocrine stress response, manage it, and even harness it. What we’ll learn later in this book is that everyone has that stress response, but we can interpret it differently, which drastically affects our performance. Ten years of practice may make you an expert. But even then, it just gets you in the door.


pages: 272 words: 66,985

Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction by Chris Bailey

"side hustle", Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Cal Newport, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, correlation does not imply causation, deliberate practice, functional fixedness, game design, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Parkinson's law, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Skype, twin studies, Zipcar

One is about attention; the other is about inattention. On a neurological level, the two mental modes are even anticorrelated—when the brain network that supports scatterfocus is activated, activation in your hyperfocus network plummets, and vice versa.* All that said, the two modes of your brain reinforce each other—especially as you enter into each mode with intention. This makes it important to deliberately practice both modes. Practicing hyperfocus—and deliberately managing your attention—provides a host of benefits: expanding your attentional space so you can focus on more tasks simultaneously, improving your memory, and letting you become more aware of the thoughts flying around your head. As it turns out, all three of these are beneficial in scatterfocus mode. The size of your attentional space is one of the biggest determinants of how fruitful your scatterfocus episodes will be.

Illusions stop being magical the moment you discover how they’re done—but learning how they’re done feels like a eureka moment in and of itself, as a set of jumbled puzzle pieces locks into place. Like a magician’s, the methods of a genius are mysterious—until you untangle the web of connections that leads to them. These individuals usually have more experience, have put in more hours of deliberate practice, and, most important, have connected more dots than anyone else. As author Malcolm Gladwell wrote: “Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” Albert Einstein was undoubtedly a genius—he connected more dots, in more unique ways, than almost any other human. At the same time, he was bound by the same mental limits that we all are. To conceive of an idea like the general theory of relativity, he had to collect and connect an incredible number of dots so he could bridge ideas from nature and mathematical concepts, forming connections others hadn’t.


pages: 505 words: 127,542

If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Happy? by Raj Raghunathan

Broken windows theory, business process, cognitive dissonance, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, fundamental attribution error, hedonic treadmill, job satisfaction, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Phillip Zimbardo, placebo effect, science of happiness, Skype, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Thorstein Veblen, Tony Hsieh, working poor, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Csikszentmihalyi, Optimal Experience: Psychological Studies of Flow in Consciousness (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1992). have to master that domain: As made popular by Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers, researchers agree that, in general, it takes about ten thousand hours (or about ten years) of practice to master a domain; K. A. Ericsson, R. T. Krampe, and C. Tesch-Römer, “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review 100(3) (1993): 363. Note, however, that there are exceptions to this general rule; see B. N. Macnamara, D. Z. Hambrick, and F. L. Oswald, “Deliberate Practice and Performance in Music, Games, Sports, Education, and Professions: A Meta-analysis,” Psychological Science 25(8) (2014): 1608–18. flow doesn’t . . . come at . . . cost of another’s: This reason was mentioned to me in the interview that I did with Professor Csikszentmihalyi, which can be accessed at https://www.coursera.org/learn/happiness/lecture/hMLNh/week-2-video-7-why-flow-en hances-happiness.

(The video can be accessed by Googling “Mihaly thinking allowed.”) Not only is the myth of “the depressed lonely creative genius” just that—a myth—it turns out that creative people are also more responsible than we typically think they are; see M. Csikszentmihalyi and J. Nakamura, “Creativity and Responsibility,” in The Systems Model of Creativity (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 2014), 279–92. calls “grit”: A. L. Duckworth et al., “Deliberate Practice Spells Success: Why Grittier Competitors Triumph at the National Spelling Bee,” Social Psychological and Personality Science 2(2) (2011): 174–81; A. L. Duckworth et al., “Grit: Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 92(6) (2007): 1087; for related—and very insightful—thoughts, see S. Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles (New York and Los Angeles: Black Irish Entertainment LLC, 2002).


pages: 309 words: 81,975

Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? by Aaron Dignan

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, DevOps, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, hiring and firing, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, race to the bottom, remote working, Richard Thaler, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, smart contracts, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, source of truth, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the High Line, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, uber lyft, universal basic income, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

These models promote conformity to dogma and reductive criteria that can quickly become the focus instead of actual competence. In order to attain this rank you must know these things. A black belt in karate who has never been in a real fight meets a cage fighter with no formal training. Who is more likely to win? Who is mature? Luckily, it’s easy to abandon the exhausting administration of these models for deliberate practice and knowledge transfer between masters and apprentices. It’s harder work, but we can stop chasing colored sashes and start getting good at what we do. Learn by Doing. The other manifestation of our complicated approach to mastery is training. This is most commonly delivered by a “sage on the stage,” an expert who imparts wisdom to a classroom full of students, but is increasingly done via web-based training modules that are the equivalent of a fancy PowerPoint deck.

If your stakeholders are ready to move to a decentralized network of autonomous teams working transparently toward a common purpose, your loops may be more radical, progressive, and concurrent. If you’re on a more incremental path, they may be focused and sequential. Sometimes we have to change small things now in order to change big things later. Looping is an adventure in uncertainty. You’re going to learn a lot more by doing than I could ever share here. Get as many repetitions under your belt as you can. Think of looping as something you have to master through deliberate practice. Start small. Start local. Be patient. And stick with it. You are starting a chain reaction that will eventually transform your entire way of working. A more human, vital, and adaptive organization is out there, just waiting to be discovered. And once the pattern of continuous participatory change starts, it can be hard to stop. Criticality One of my clients spent nine months looping with a diverse group of teams, and a few leaders had emerged that were actively pushing the culture to move faster.


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More Than You Know: Finding Financial Wisdom in Unconventional Places (Updated and Expanded) by Michael J. Mauboussin

Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, beat the dealer, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, Brownian motion, butter production in bangladesh, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, complexity theory, corporate governance, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, demographic transition, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, diversification, diversified portfolio, dogs of the Dow, Drosophila, Edward Thorp, en.wikipedia.org, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fixed income, framing effect, functional fixedness, hindsight bias, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, index fund, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Arrow, Laplace demon, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Menlo Park, mental accounting, Milgram experiment, Murray Gell-Mann, Nash equilibrium, new economy, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, statistical model, Steven Pinker, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, traveling salesman, value at risk, wealth creators, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

One way to look at expert effectiveness is based on the nature of the problem they address. We can consider problem types on a continuum.3 One side captures straightforward problems inherent to static, linear, and discrete systems. The opposite side reflects dynamic, non-linear, and continuous problems. Exhibit 6.1 offers additional adjectives for each of the two extremes. While tens of thousands of hours of deliberate practice allows experts to internalize many of their domain’s features, this practice can also lead to reduced cognitive flexibility. Reduced flexibility leads to deteriorating expert performance as problems go from the simple to the complex. Two concepts are useful here. The first is what psychologists call functional fixedness, the idea that when we use or think about something in a particular way we have great difficulty in thinking about it in new ways.

This flexibility requires experts to recognize when their cognitively accessible models are unlikely to work, forcing the experts to go outside their routines and their familiar frameworks to solve problems. This flexibility is crucial to success in nonlinear, complex systems. So how do experts ensure they incorporate both types of flexibility? Advocates of cognitive flexibility theory suggest the major determinant in whether or not an expert will have more expansive flexibility is the amount of reductive bias during deliberate practice.4 More reductive bias may improve efficiency but will reduce flexibility. To mitigate reductive bias, the theory prescribes exploring abstractions across diverse cases to capture the significance of context dependence. Experts must also look at actual case studies and see when rules do and don’t work. Exhibit 6.2 consolidates these ideas and offers a quick guide to expert performance in various types of cognitive domains.


The Buddha and the Badass: The Secret Spiritual Art of Succeeding at Work by Vishen Lakhiani

Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, deliberate practice, Elon Musk, fundamental attribution error, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, performance metric, Peter Thiel, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, web application, white picket fence

But if you’re not deliberately putting yourself through opportunities to transform yourself, your soul will have to smack you on the back of the head to wake you up. This is what painful kensho moments are like. True masters of the art of life create deliberate daily processes to transform and evolve themselves. They dedicate themselves to the continual expansion of their mind, body, and soul. These masters seek satori or awakening on a regular basis. The more you transform through deliberate practices, the less you have to transform through painful kensho moments. And the workplace is the best place for it. Imagine that you design your work so that it becomes an accelerator of transformation, where you unlock the best in yourself and everyone around you. The Transformational Organization At a very young age most people’s goals are implanted in them by whichever company has a bigger marketing budget.

Video retrieved from: https://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_build_a_school_in_the_cloud?language=en. depriving yourself of ninety minutes: Rath, Tom. Eat, Move, Sleep. Missionday, 2013. it takes 10,000 hours to attain mastery in any field: Gladwell, Malcolm. Outliers. Little, Brown and Company, 2008. They spent an average of 8 hours and 36 minutes sleeping: Ericsson, Enders K. 1993. “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance” (Vol. 100. No. 3, 363-406). Retrieved from Psychological Review https://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/blogs/freakonomics/pdf/DeliberatePractice(PsychologicalReview).pdf. Imagine if you could boost your strength by 25 percent: McGuff, Doug. Body by Science. Northern River Productions, Inc. 2009. most people have been trained to read like a six-year-old: Mindvalley (producer).


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The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance by Steven Kotler

Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Clayton Christensen, data acquisition, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, fear of failure, Google Earth, haute couture, impulse control, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, life extension, lifelogging, low earth orbit, Maui Hawaii, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, risk tolerance, rolodex, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Walter Mischel, X Prize

“If you remember the 1980s, you probably weren’t skiing” was a once popular saying whose sentiment still rings true—but it’s not exactly the ideal backdrop for “deliberate, well-structured practice.” Put differently, deliberate well-structure practice is a rigorous, compliance-based approach to mastery. It means you crawl before you walk. It doesn’t mean Laird Hamilton surfing Pipeline at age four, or Danny Way in the deep end of the pool at the Del Mar Skate Ranch by seven. In broader terms, deliberate practice is also how we train genius these days. It’s factory athletics. It’s Kumon math tutoring, Baby Einstein, Suzuki violin, et al. But it’s also the world McConkey walked away from that naked day at Vail. He turned his back on the factory, yet somehow still went on to become Superman. Finally, the trouble with marshmallows. In 1972, Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel performed a fairly straightforward study in delayed gratification: he offered four-year-old children a marshmallow.

But once the sensation seekers jump on the flow path, they don’t need to delay gratification to achieve success—gratification becomes their path to success. “I’m doing what I love,” explains McConkey. “And if you’re doing what you want to do all the time, then you’re happy. You’re not going to work everyday wishing you were doing something else. I get up and go to work everyday and I’m stoked. That does not suck.” The lesson of the musicians, meanwhile, is that 10,000 hours of deliberate practice is the only sure way to acquire real expertise. But are we certain? A quick shorthand for learning is the more emotionally powerful an experience, the more chance the details of that experience get moved from short-term storage into long-term memory. Both flow and high-risk situations produce extremely powerful emotional experiences. “As a result,” says high-performance sports psychologist Michael Gervais, “athletes in flow in death-facing situations likely gather more relevant data and code it more efficiently.


Hothouse Kids: The Dilemma of the Gifted Child by Alissa Quart

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, cognitive dissonance, deliberate practice, Flynn Effect, haute couture, helicopter parent, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, War on Poverty

I feel like you can see this high-culture-low-culture knowledge and general trivia-kid sensibility running through a number of his poems. 4the relationship between talented adults and their youthful “deliberative practice”: Anders Ericsson uses the term expertise for high levels of skill in everything from chess to video-game play. According to Ericsson and some of his colleagues, expertise is thought to require a minimum of ten years of several hours’ focused practice daily. See K. A. Ericsson, R. T. Krampe, and C. Tesch-Romer, “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review 100 (1993); and K. A. Ericsson and J. Smith, eds., Toward a General Theory of Expertise (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993). 5A classic longitudinal study: More on this in Joel N. Shurkin, Terman’s Kids (New York: Little, Brown, 1992) and also in the ongoing Terman studies published as Genetic Studies of Genius (Standford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1925–).

How to Teach Your Baby to Read: The Gentle Revolution. Wyndmoor, Pa.: Gentle Revolution Press, 2005. Dweck, Carol. “Caution—Praise Can Be Dangerous.” American Educator 23, no. 1 (1999). Eaton, M. M., and E. M. Pomerantz. “Parental Contingent Self-worth: Implications for Achievement Motivation and Parent’s Use of Control and Mental Health.” Forthcoming, 2006. Ericsson, K. A., R. T. Krampe, and C. Tesch-Romer. “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance.” Psychological Review 100(1993). Ericsson, K. A., and J. Smith, eds. Toward a General Theory of Expertise. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1993. Ericsson, K. A., and A. C. Lehmann, “Expert and Exceptional Performance: Evidence of Maximal Adaptation to Task,” Annual Review of Psychology 47 (1996). Erikson, Erik H. Toys and Reasons: Stages in the Ritualisation of Experience.


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The End of Nice: How to Be Human in a World Run by Robots (Kindle Single) by Richard Newton

3D printing, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Clayton Christensen, crowdsourcing, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, future of work, Google Glasses, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, lateral thinking, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Paul Erdős, Paul Graham, recommendation engine, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, social intelligence, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Y Combinator

Delighted that the sketch should be so beautiful, simple and yet capture the very essence of her character she asks Picasso whether or how much she should pay him. “$5,000, madam,” he says. “But it only took you minutes to draw!” she complains. “Madam,” he says, “It took my whole life.” In other words, you have to do your time. Ten years if you’re an apprentice to Jiro Oro. According to one rule of thumb, made famous by Malcolm Gladwell, 10,000 hours of hard deliberate practice is what it takes to become world-class in almost any field. And by the end you become so good at things it seems easy. As the golfer Gary Player wryly observed: “The more you practice, the luckier you get.” The 10,000 hour rule applies just to those people who become so elite (and therefore famous) they can be known by just one name. Tiger, Mozart, Venus, Picasso. For musicians it means they learn the language of music – the stride piano patterns of Fats Waller, the guitar riffs of Django Reinhardt or the violin sequences of Nigel Kennedy – so intimately that music becomes as natural and familiar as a spoken language.


pages: 410 words: 114,005

Black Box Thinking: Why Most People Never Learn From Their Mistakes--But Some Do by Matthew Syed

Airbus A320, Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, British Empire, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, crew resource management, deliberate practice, double helix, epigenetics, fear of failure, fundamental attribution error, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, Isaac Newton, iterative process, James Dyson, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, mandatory minimum, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, publication bias, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, Shai Danziger, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, US Airways Flight 1549, Wall-E, Yom Kippur War

When you make a poor move, you are instantly punished by your opponent. Think of being a clinical nurse. When you make a mistaken diagnosis, you are rapidly alerted by the condition of the patient (and by later testing). The intuitions of nurses and chess players are constantly checked and challenged by their errors. They are forced to adapt, to improve, to restructure their judgments. This is a hallmark of what is called deliberate practice. For psychotherapists things are radically different. Their job is to improve the mental functioning of their patients. But how can they tell when their interventions are going wrong or, for that matter, right? Where is the feedback? Most psychotherapists gauge how their clients are responding to treatment not with objective data, but by observing them in clinic. But these data are highly unreliable.

(Catmull), 207 creativity and innovation, 182–213 as act of synthesis, 199 brainstorming and, 196–97 connectivity and, 199, 204 as context-dependent, 201–2 discipline and, 205–6 dissent and criticize approach to, 197, 200–201, 207, 209 Dyson on creative process, 192–95, 196, 198, 202 education system and, 211–12 environments conducive to, 200–201 and multiples, 201–2 at Pixar, 207–10 as response to problem, 195–200 Crew Resource Management, 30, 39 Criminal Cases Review Commission, UK, 117 criminal justice system, 65–71, 114–21, 282 parole decisions and, 118–19 randomized control trials (RCTs), lack of, 158 reforms and, 115–17, 118–21 Scared Straight program and, 150–54, 159–67 trial by jury and, 118, 119 wrongful convictions (See wrongful convictions) criticism, in creative process, 197, 207, 209 cults, 71–73, 74 culture, 11, 13 aviation and, 20, 25–27, 58 of blame (See blame) health care and, 16, 49–50, 53, 54–55, 57, 58–59, 105–6 of openness, 229–31, 234–35 cumulative selection/adaptation, 128–29, 130, 292 Cuneus, Andreas, 201 cycling, 171–73, 178, 179 Daily Beast, 166 Danziger, Shai, 118–19 Darwin, Charles, 201 data, 37 Dattner, Ben, 233 Dawkins, Richard, 128–29 deception, 87, 88 decision making, 11 Deep Blue, 134 Dekker, Sidney, 13, 227, 239 deliberate practice, 47 denial cognitive dissonance, as response to, 74 failure and, 18, 71 in prosecutorial responses to exonerating DNA evidence, 78–83 Diehl, Alan, 27, 28, 29, 30 Disch, Joanne, 10 discipline, 205–6 disclosure, 16, 25–26, 88–89 disposition effect, 101, 264 dissent and debate, in creative process, 197, 200–201, 207, 209 Divine, Jamie, 184 DNA evidence, 68–71, 77, 79–83, 84, 120 dogmatic tradition, 277, 278 Dorman, R.


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Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive ScrabblePlayers by Stefan Fatsis

deliberate practice, Donner party, East Village, forensic accounting, Golden Gate Park, Gödel, Escher, Bach, index card, Saturday Night Live, zero-sum game

(Chunks are familiar patterns or units of information.)† That knowledge becomes part of the routine cognitive processing that occurs during various activities, from playing chess to Scrabble to badminton to the violin. Charness says I’m building the ability to make expert decisions. I’ve moved beyond “maintenance practice,” or simply playing a lot of Scrabble, which is what hobbyists do (and what I did on my living room floor early on), to “deliberate practice,” what Charness calls the “technical, draining, attention-demanding” work that can only be conducted in short sessions, a maximum of three to four hours a day in the case of writers and musicians. In a pioneering study in 1973, Herbert Simon and William Chase of Carnegie-Mellon University concluded that attaining an international level of expertise in chess requires about ten years of preparation, and they suggested it was no different in other domains.

I fill my words notebook with plays I’ve missed, not to punish but to learn. Page by page, it slowly becomes a tapestry of linguistic randomness. ACAROID (105 lost points), COAGULA, OXIDASE, the chance to turn BLACK into BLACKOUT. I write down SODOMITE, which would have worked when MOODIEST didn’t. EXODOI? A plural of EXODOS (a concluding dramatic scene). Most of the words or racks I botched may never materialize again. But so what? It’s all part of the deliberate practice about which Neil Charness schooled 312 ❑ Word Freak me. WOOPS means to vomit. A RIVIERE is a necklace of precious stones. MONGO is a low-quality wool. There are three bingos in EGIMNPR: IMPREGN, PERMING, and GRIPMEN. The rack EFIPRST contains only one seven, PRESIFT — not PREFITS*, as I’d tried. I write down every unfamiliar word starting with Q, and every word starting with AIR, SEA, and ROSE.


The Naked Presenter: Delivering Powerful Presentations With or Without Slides by Garr Reynolds

deliberate practice, fear of failure, Hans Rosling, index card, Mahatma Gandhi, Maui Hawaii, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs

What happens if they don’t laugh at my jokes.” Your task is not to feed your anxiety with this type of talk, but to change it into “I can do this. I will follow my rehearsed plans. This is manageable.” 4. Arousal control via diaphragmatic breathing. Calm your brain’s fear center with slow, deliberate breaths with slightly longer exhales. Slower rhythm (rather than deep breathing) is helpful for fear management. 5. Deliberate practice. Practice your beginning, identify challenging concepts, and practice, practice, practice—out loud. These techniques work, and I use them myself as well as with clients. They are powerful and will prove useful in scenarios other than presenting. Chapter 3 Connect with Punch, Presence, and Projection 93 Wow! eBook <WoweBook.Com> Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage.


pages: 190 words: 53,409

Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy by Robert H. Frank

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, attribution theory, availability heuristic, Branko Milanovic, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, experimental subject, framing effect, full employment, hindsight bias, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, income inequality, invisible hand, labor-force participation, lake wobegon effect, loss aversion, minimum wage unemployment, Network effects, Paul Samuelson, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Thaler, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, selection bias, side project, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, ultimatum game, Vincenzo Peruggia: Mona Lisa, winner-take-all economy

For a comprehensive discussion of this tendency, see George Ainslie, Pico-economics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. 14. Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, New York: Penguin, 2011. 15. Roy Baumeister, quoted by Kirsten Weir, “The Power of Self-Control,” Monitor on Psychology 43.1 (January 2012): 36. 16. K. Anders Ericsson, Ralf Krampe, and Clemens Tesch-Romer, “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review 100.3 (1993): 363–406. 17. Attribution theory in psychology attempts to explain how people use information to arrive at causal explanations for events. 18. Bernard Weiner, Achievement Motivation and Attribution Theory, Morris-town, NJ: General Learning Press, 1974. 19. Daniel H. Robinson, Janna Siegel, and Michael Shaughnessy, “An Interview with Bernard Weiner,” Educational Psychology Review (June 1996): 165–74. 20.


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The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want by Diane Mulcahy

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, basic income, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, collective bargaining, creative destruction, David Brooks, deliberate practice, diversification, diversified portfolio, fear of failure, financial independence, future of work, gig economy, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, mass immigration, mental accounting, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, passive income, Paul Graham, remote working, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, wage slave, Y Combinator, Zipcar

It’s only worth making the investment in an activity if we can invest the right amount of time, energy, and attention to realize a meaningful reward. The challenge for each of us is to find the right level of diversification for ourselves. Can We Diversify and Build Expertise? Diversification has connotations of breadth, but it can also be deployed for depth. Malcolm Gladwell asserts in his book Outliers that it takes at least 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to obtain mastery in a cognitively demanding field.3 But we can stretch out our 10,000 hours over the course of our lives, achieving mastery later in life. Or we can devote any single decade (i.e., our 20s, our 30s) to practice and mastery, which leaves many other decades left to dabble, explore, experiment, and pursue other interests. If we consider a long enough time horizon, we can achieve both mastery and variety.


pages: 202 words: 62,199

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

Albert Einstein, Clayton Christensen, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, loss aversion, low cost airline, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, minimum viable product, Nelson Mandela, North Sea oil, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, Shai Danziger, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, sovereign wealth fund, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, Vilfredo Pareto

Rao Laxmi, and Sumantra Chattarji, “Functional Connectivity from the Amygdala to the Hippocampus Grows Stronger after Stress,” Journal of Neuroscience 33, no. 38 (2013), abstract, www.jneurosci.org/content/33/17/7234.abstract. 8. Edward M. Hallowell, Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People (Boston: Harvard Business Review Press, 2011), 125. 9. Ibid., p. 113. 8. SLEEP 1. K. Anders Ericsson, Ralf Th. Krampe, and Clemens Tesch-Romer, “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review 100, no. 3 (1993): 363–406, http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/blogs/freakonomics/pdf/DeliberatePractice(PsychologicalReview).pdf. 2. Charles A. Czeisler, “Sleep Deficit: The Performance Killer,” interview by Bronwyn Fryer, Harvard Business Review, October 2006, http://hbr.org/2006/10/sleep-deficit-the-performance-killer. 3.


pages: 1,007 words: 181,911

The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life by Timothy Ferriss

Airbnb, Atul Gawande, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, Golden Gate Park, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, microbiome, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Pepto Bismol, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, Skype, spaced repetition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, the High Line, Y Combinator

This is the approach I used with the Linkword method to achieve more than 85% retention of 350 Italian words 72 hours after cramming them into 12 hours. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE 10,000-HOUR RULE? For those not on the bandwagon, the so-called 10,000-Hour Rule is based on a study by K. Anders Ericsson and was popularized by the Malcolm Gladwell book Outliers. It dictates, in simple terms, that becoming world-class at something requires 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. This number has been correlated with top violinists and aviators, and Malcolm extended this theory to well-known greats like the Beatles and Bill Gates. Accumulating 10,000 hours requires 20 hours a week for 10 years. So how can I claim that becoming “world-class” is attainable within six months? There are a few reasons, most of which I think Malcolm would agree with: First, I define world-class very specifically: The top 5% in a given field.

In 2012, he was nominated for the “Best Chef Pacific” James Beard Award. His constant companion all along has been a veterinary guide: Spurgeon’s Color Atlas of Large Animal Anatomy: The Essentials by Thomas O. McCracken (fourhourchef.com/spurgeons). If you want to learn how to disassemble animals, this is the book I’d suggest as your primary reference. Once you have the guide, it’s a matter of deliberate practice. Be willing to push into discomfort. As Chris put it to me: “When you are nervous, uncomfortable, that’s when you’re learning.” Truer words never spoken. FOR FUN: WHAT THE HELL IS A PORTERHOUSE, ANYWAY? The tenderloins32 are muscles that run under and along the spine. They get thicker toward the back. LESSON 33 SKILL BASIC BUTCHERING HOW TO BUTCHER A CHICKEN * * * “If skill could be gained by watching, every dog would become a butcher.”


The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum by Temple Grandin, Richard Panek

Asperger Syndrome, correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, David Brooks, deliberate practice, double helix, ghettoisation, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, impulse control, Khan Academy, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mouse model, neurotypical, pattern recognition, phenotype, Richard Feynman, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, theory of mind, twin studies

. [>] is now widely accepted: G. Borst et al., “Understanding the Dorsal and Ventral Systems of the Human Cerebral Cortex: Beyond Dichotomies,” American Psychologist 66, no. 7 (October 2011): 624–32. 8. From the Margins to the Mainstream [>] best-selling book: Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2008). [>] a 1993 study: K. Anders Ericsson et al., “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review 100, no. 3 (1993): 363–406. [>] Consider an article: Geoffrey Colvin, “What It Takes to Be Great,” Fortune, October 19, 2006. [>] a 2000 study: Eleanor A. Maguire et al. “Navigation-related structural change in the hippocampi of taxi drivers,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 97, no. 3 (April 2000): 4398–4400. [>] developed a method: Sara Reardon, “Playing by Ear,” Science 333 (September 2011): 1816–18. [>] Check out the universities: http://theweek.com/article/index/232522/virtual-princeton-a-guide-to-free-online-ivy-league-classes. [>] About fifty thousand people: Gareth Cook, “The Autism Advantage,” New York Times, December 2, 2012. [>] see sidebar: Temple Grandin and Kate Duffy, Developing Talents: Careers for Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism, updated and expanded edition (Overland Park, KS: Autism Asperger Publishing Company, 2008). [>] an interview with Steve Jobs: Brent Schlender, “Exclusive: New Wisdom from Steve Jobs on Technology, Hollywood, and How ‘Good Management Is Like the Beatles,’” Fast Company, May 2012. [>] Aspiritech: Carla K.


Buy Then Build: How Acquisition Entrepreneurs Outsmart the Startup Game by Walker Deibel

barriers to entry, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, deliberate practice, discounted cash flows, diversification, Elon Musk, family office, financial independence, high net worth, intangible asset, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Network effects, new economy, Peter Thiel, risk tolerance, risk/return, rolodex, software as a service, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Y Combinator

Growth-minded people seem to take the attitude, “Anything can be improved upon, and I’m the one to do it.” Ultimately, it’s the ability to learn from your experiences and not make the same mistakes repeatedly. As a result, all the empirical evidence suggests that people that have cultivated a growth mindset reach ever-increasing levels of achievement. Indeed, Dweck’s research has supported the hypothesis that people who favor and deliberately practice a growth mindset tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset. Having a growth mindset is an enormous psychological advantage for those who have it. The knowledge that things are malleable creates an interest for solving market problems, generating innovative solutions, and implementing ongoing improvement—both for yourself and your work— which is the mark of successful entrepreneur.


pages: 291 words: 81,703

Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen

Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, brain emulation, Brownian motion, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, computerized trading, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deliberate practice, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Flynn Effect, Freestyle chess, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Myron Scholes, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, P = NP, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, reshoring, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Yogi Berra

Chapter 10: Relearning Education For figures on K–12, see Stephanie Banchero and Stephanie Simon, “My Teacher is an App,” The Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2011. The point about stronger incentives for innovation I owe to Alex Tabarrok. On the Emporium model, see Daniel de Vise, “At Virginia Tech, computers help solve a math class problem,” The Washington Post, April 22, 2012. On spelling bees, see Angela Lee Duckworth, Teri A. Kirby, Eli Tsukayama, Heather Berstein, and K. Anders Ericsson, “Deliberate Practice Spells Success: Why Grittier Competitors Triumph at the National Spelling Bee,” Social Psychological and Personality Science, published online October 4, 2010, doi: 10.1177/1948550610385872. On Jesse Kraai, see Scott Kraft, “Chess Players Making Right Moves at Younger Ages,” the Los Angeles Times, May 10, 2011. On more general progress with prodigies, see Jonathan Wai, Martha Putallaz, and Matthew C.


pages: 262 words: 80,257

The Eureka Factor by John Kounios

active measures, Albert Einstein, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, Flynn Effect, functional fixedness, Google Hangouts, impulse control, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Necker cube, pattern recognition, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, theory of mind, US Airways Flight 1549, Wall-E, William of Occam

Even if future research does support the idea that differences in cognitive style are due to physical asymmetries in the brain, this doesn’t mean that even those individuals with the most asymmetric brains are forever locked into one style of thought. Just because one hemisphere may be dominant doesn’t mean that the other one is totally submissive. As we’ve seen, the hemispheres contribute to thought by working together seamlessly. One’s genes may influence the size and thickness of brain structures, but intensive use or training—what cognitive psychologists call “deliberate practice”—can modify the brain. Perhaps how people tend to think causes such differences in brain structure. If so, then training could change aspects of hemispheric dominance. In sum, even if cognitive style is determined by one’s brain anatomy and genes, that doesn’t imply that one’s experience and training have no effect. Morton and Rafto’s findings of hemispheric asymmetry are discussed in B.


pages: 306 words: 85,836

When to Rob a Bank: ...And 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbus A320, airport security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, feminist movement, food miles, George Akerlof, global pandemic, information asymmetry, invisible hand, loss aversion, mental accounting, Netflix Prize, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, Pareto efficiency, peak oil, pre–internet, price anchoring, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, Richard Thaler, Sam Peltzman, security theater, Ted Kaczynski, the built environment, The Chicago School, the High Line, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, US Airways Flight 1549

Or maybe he’s just maximizing revenue. After all, he is an economist by training. 10,000 Hours Later: The PGA Tour? (SDL) Last spring, I jokingly (okay, maybe half jokingly) wrote about my quest to make the Champions Tour, the professional golf tour for people over the age of fifty. In that post, I made reference to the ideas of Anders Ericsson, who argues that with ten thousand hours of the right kind of deliberate practice, more or less anyone can become more or less world class at anything. I’ve spent five thousand hours practicing golf, so if I could just find the time for five thousand more, I should be able to compete with the pros. Or at least that is what the theory says. My scorecards seem to be telling a different story! It turns out I’ve got a kindred spirit in this pursuit, only this guy is dead serious.


pages: 308 words: 84,713

The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

Airbnb, Airbus A320, Andy Kessler, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, Bernard Ziegler, business process, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, computerized trading, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, High speed trading, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, turn-by-turn navigation, US Airways Flight 1549, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Langewiesche

Dreyfus, “Intelligence without Representation—Merleau-Ponty’s Critique of Mental Representation,” Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 1 (2002): 367–383. 29.Marcus, Guitar Zero, 103. 30.David Z. Hambrick and Elizabeth J. Meinz, “Limits on the Predictive Power of Domain-Specific Experience and Knowledge in Skilled Performance,” Current Directions in Psychological Science 20, no. 5 (2011): 275–279. 31.K. Anders Ericsson et al., “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review 100, no. 3 (1993): 363–406. 32.Nigel Warburton, “Robert Talisse on Pragmatism,” Five Books, September 18, 2013, fivebooks.com/interviews/robert-talisse-on-pragmatism. 33.Jeanne Nakamura and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, “The Concept of Flow,” in C. R. Snyder and Shane J. Lopez, eds., Handbook of Positive Psychology (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2002), 90–91.


pages: 280 words: 82,355

Extreme Teams: Why Pixar, Netflix, AirBnB, and Other Cutting-Edge Companies Succeed Where Most Fail by Robert Bruce Shaw, James Foster, Brilliance Audio

Airbnb, augmented reality, call centre, cloud computing, deliberate practice, Elon Musk, future of work, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Jony Ive, loose coupling, meta analysis, meta-analysis, nuclear winter, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, Peter Thiel, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh

These individuals may have more raw talent than others but lack the ability to realize their talent in contrast to those who are fixated on their work and are relentless in their desire to succeed. There is much written about the so-called 10,000 hour rule.22 It states that mastering an activity requires 10,000 hours of disciplined practice performing that activity. Talent is needed to obtain mastery, but mastery does not come without the necessary hours of deliberate practice. If we apply this rule to a sport such as tennis, this means that a highly talented athlete needs to practice every day for four hours for seven years. The player Andre Agassi said that he did more than that—he estimates he hit at least 2,500 balls a day from the time he was six years old. Close to a million balls a year. Ten million balls before he turned professional.23 How many people, even those with extraordinary hand and eye coordination and in Andre’s case unrelenting pressure from a demanding parent, have the resolve needed to hit that many balls?


pages: 302 words: 90,215

Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality Is, How It Works, and What It Can Do by Jeremy Bailenson

Apple II, augmented reality, computer vision, deliberate practice, experimental subject, game design, Google Glasses, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), iterative process, Jaron Lanier, low earth orbit, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, nuclear winter, Oculus Rift, randomized controlled trial, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, telepresence, too big to fail

Chess players, for instance, have played so many games they know which parts of the board need their attention and which ones don’t. They can look at a chessboard and in a matter of seconds know what the correct move is. An amateur player will waste a lot of energy visualizing possible moves that an expert can dismiss right away. Ericsson’s research shows that mental representations are honed by deliberate practice, a particularly engaged form of learning that is distinguished by a motivated learner with well-defined goals, who gets feedback from his performance and has ample opportunities for repetition. Palmer’s method for preparation, which involves quizzing himself as he goes through the plays, satisfies all these conditions. But perhaps most importantly, VR gives him access to unlimited repetitions.


pages: 288 words: 90,349

The Challenge for Africa by Wangari Maathai

Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, clean water, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, deliberate practice, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Live Aid, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Scramble for Africa, sovereign wealth fund, structural adjustment programs, sustainable-tourism, trade liberalization, transatlantic slave trade, urban planning, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus

As in any society, some natives, especially those in trouble with the local establishment, cooperated with the newcomers, sharing the community's secrets and lifestyle. In return for their “generosity,” these collaborators (many of them outcasts) were elevated to the positions of chiefs, scouts, or church elders: positions that they would never have held in the traditional societies. This deliberate practice of ignoring or misunderstanding the complex and subtle existing leadership structures in favor of selecting leaders and imposing them on the population was the cornerstone of the colonial administration. Though they were members of the community, such chiefs and their assistants were de facto agents and information gatherers for the imperial powers. These local autocrats did everything they could to promote the oppressive, exploitative, and undemocratic authority of the colonial government and ruled their own people with even greater cruelty than the colonizers.


pages: 417 words: 103,458

The Intelligence Trap: Revolutionise Your Thinking and Make Wiser Decisions by David Robson

active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, cognitive bias, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, deliberate practice, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Flynn Effect, framing effect, fundamental attribution error, illegal immigration, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, lone genius, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, pattern recognition, price anchoring, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

Stigler has now been researching these ideas for decades, and he suggests his findings can be distilled to three stages of good teaching:11 Productive struggle: Long periods of confusion as students wrestle with complex concepts beyond their current understanding. Making connections: When undergoing that intellectual struggle, students are encouraged to use comparisons and analogies, helping them to see underlying patterns between different concepts. This ensures that the confusion leads to a useful lesson – rather than simply ending in frustration. Deliberate practice: Once the initial concepts have been taught, teachers should ensure that students practise those skills in the most productive way possible. Crucially, this doesn’t involve simply repeating near identical problems ad nauseam, as you might find in the Western maths classroom, but means adding additional variety and challenges – and yet more productive struggle. These are profound discoveries that offer some of the most robust ways of improving education and academic achievement, and in a few pages we’ll see how anyone can make use of desirable difficulties to master new skills.


pages: 377 words: 110,427

The Boy Who Could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz by Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig

affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, American Legislative Exchange Council, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, deliberate practice, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, failed state, fear of failure, Firefox, full employment, Howard Zinn, index card, invisible hand, Joan Didion, John Gruber, Lean Startup, More Guns, Less Crime, peer-to-peer, post scarcity, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, semantic web, single-payer health, SpamAssassin, SPARQL, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, unbiased observer, wage slave, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor, zero-sum game

The conclusion that follows, the NYTM notes, is that “when it comes to choosing a life path, you should do what you love—because if you don’t love it, you are unlikely to work hard enough to get very good. Most people naturally don’t like to do things they aren’t ‘good’ at. So they often give up, telling themselves they simply don’t possess the talent for math or skiing or the violin. But what they really lack is the desire to be good and to undertake the deliberate practice that would make them better.” † The quote is from Wikipedia where, indeed, the other facts are drawn from as well, the idea having been suggested by Stephen Jay Gould’s essay “Mozart and Modularity,” collected in his book Eight Little Piggies. ‡ I’ve always thought that this was the reason kids (or maybe just me) especially disliked history. Every other field—biology, math, art—had at least some connection to the present and thus kids had some foundational knowledge to build on.


pages: 399 words: 116,828

When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor by William Julius Wilson

affirmative action, business cycle, citizen journalism, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, declining real wages, deindustrialization, deliberate practice, desegregation, Donald Trump, edge city, ending welfare as we know it, fixed income, full employment, George Gilder, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, informal economy, jobless men, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, new economy, New Urbanism, pink-collar, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, school choice, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

“Although we tend to think of social integration as a desirable endpoint,” state Laurence Steinberg and his colleagues, “its desirability depends on the nature of the people that integration brings one into contact with. There are many communities in contemporary America in which it may be more adaptive for parents to be socially isolated than socially integrated. Indeed, some of Frank Furstenberg’s recent work on family life in the inner city of Philadelphia suggest that social isolation is often deliberately practiced as an adaptive strategy by many parents living in dangerous neighborhoods.” A similar finding emerged from ethnographic research in a densely populated housing project in Denver. Concerns on the part of some parents about safety in this housing project affected their degree of involvement or interaction with their neighbors. Such parents were skeptical of other parents and youths in the housing project and therefore resisted casual contact with their neighbors, established few friendships, and did not get involved with neighborhood problems.


pages: 464 words: 117,495

The New Trading for a Living: Psychology, Discipline, Trading Tools and Systems, Risk Control, Trade Management by Alexander Elder

additive manufacturing, Atul Gawande, backtesting, Benoit Mandelbrot, buy and hold, buy low sell high, Checklist Manifesto, computerized trading, deliberate practice, diversification, Elliott wave, endowment effect, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, offshore financial centre, paper trading, Ponzi scheme, price stability, psychological pricing, quantitative easing, random walk, risk tolerance, short selling, South Sea Bubble, systematic trading, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, transfer pricing, traveling salesman, tulip mania, zero-sum game

That’s why it’s difficult to learn how to speak a new language, play an instrument, hit a golf ball, or shoot great photos. It’s so much easier to watch TV or surf the web…” he writes. To learn a new skill, you need to find the experts and get their materials, create an action plan, and make an absolute commitment to studying and practicing without any distractions. By completing just 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice, you can go from near zero to performing reasonably well in many fields. Kaufman describes how he took 20 hours to learn several new skills, including windsurfing and programming a website. Even if you take up a more complex activity, such as flying, 20 hours will get you through the ground school and the first few lessons with an instructor. This won’t make you a pilot, but 50 hours of flight time should earn you a private pilot’s license.


pages: 663 words: 119,916

The Big Book of Words You Should Know: Over 3,000 Words Every Person Should Be Able to Use (And a Few That You Probably Shouldn't) by David Olsen, Michelle Bevilacqua, Justin Cord Hayes

deliberate practice, haute couture, haute cuisine, jitney, Lao Tzu, place-making, placebo effect, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Rosa Parks, Upton Sinclair

Because they were made on the floor of the Senate, the Senator’s SCURRILOUS accusations against me were protected, but if he should dare to repeat them in another setting I will sue him for every penny he’s worth. sectarian (seck-TEAR-ee-un), adjective Narrow-minded and limited in outlook. The competing cliques’ SECTARIAN squabbles captured the interest of the entire school. segregate (SEG-ruh-gate), verb To separate or keep apart from others. As the judge seemed doomed to have to point out for the rest of his life, his order affected only those school districts whose officials deliberately practiced SEGREGATION in violation of law—not SEGREGATION that was purely the result of existing demographic patterns. servile (SUR-vil), adjective Overly eager to serve; slavish. Marion’s uncharacteristically SERVILE demeanor can only mean one thing: He wants a raise. sinister (SIN-uh-ster), adjective Describes or suggests something unfavorable and potentially harmful. Southpaws of the world will be unhappy to learn that the word is Latin for “left.”


pages: 385 words: 121,550

Three Years in Hell: The Brexit Chronicles by Fintan O'Toole

airport security, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, blockchain, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, deindustrialization, deliberate practice, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Downton Abbey, Etonian, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, full employment, income inequality, l'esprit de l'escalier, labour mobility, late capitalism, open borders, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, technoutopianism, zero-sum game

And in 1979, when Varadkar was born, Ireland retained the laws against acts of ‘gross indecency’ between consenting adult men under which one of its most famous sons, Oscar Wilde, had been prosecuted in 1895. As late as 1983, when Varadkar was four years old, the Irish Supreme Court upheld that repressive law ‘on the ground of the Christian nature of our State and on the grounds that the deliberate practice of homosexuality is morally wrong, that it is damaging to the health both of individuals and the public and, finally, that it is potentially harmful to the institution of marriage’. The law was repealed only in 1993, under pressure from the European Court of Human Rights. Yet in 2015 Ireland became the first country to introduce same-sex marriage by referendum – 62 per cent voted in favor.


pages: 455 words: 133,719

Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte

8-hour work day, affirmative action, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, Burning Man, business cycle, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, deliberate practice, desegregation, DevOps, East Village, Edward Glaeser, epigenetics, fear of failure, feminist movement, financial independence, game design, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, income inequality, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, profit maximization, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sensible shoes, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Thorstein Veblen, women in the workforce, working poor, Zipcar, éminence grise

A few decades later, sleep researchers found those same ninety-minute oscillations from higher to lower states of alertness during the day and dubbed them “ultradian” cycles.12 Schwartz’s thinking was also influenced by Florida State University psychologist Anders Ericsson’s research. Ericsson studied young violinists at the prestigious Academy of Music in Berlin to see what it takes to be the best. Ericsson is widely credited for coming up with the theory that it takes ten thousand hours of deliberate practice in anything to become an expert. “That led to the assumption that the best way to get things done is to just work more hours,” Schwartz said. But that’s only part of it. Ericsson’s study found that not only did the best violinists practice more, they also practiced more deliberately: They practiced first thing in the morning, when they were freshest, they practiced intensely without interruption in typically no more than ninety-minute increments for no more than four hours a day.


pages: 487 words: 151,810

The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement by David Brooks

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, assortative mating, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, business process, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial independence, Flynn Effect, George Akerlof, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, impulse control, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, loss aversion, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Monroe Doctrine, Paul Samuelson, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school vouchers, six sigma, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Walter Mischel, young professional

Mozart played a lot of piano at a very young age, so he got his ten thousand hours of practice in early, and then he built from there. The latest research suggests a prosaic, democratic, even puritanical view of how fantastic success is achieved. The key factor separating geniuses from the merely accomplished is not a divine spark. Instead, what really matters is the ability to get better and better gradually over time. As K. Anders Ericsson of Florida State University has demonstrated, it’s deliberate practice. Top performers spend more hours (many more hours) rigorously honing their craft. As Ericsson has noted, top performers devote five times more hours to become great than the average performers devote to become competent. John Hayes of Carnegie Mellon studied five hundred masterworks of classical music. Only three of them were published within the first ten years of the composer’s career.


pages: 467 words: 154,960

Trend Following: How Great Traders Make Millions in Up or Down Markets by Michael W. Covel

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, backtesting, beat the dealer, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, buy and hold, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Clayton Christensen, commodity trading advisor, computerized trading, correlation coefficient, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Thorp, Elliott wave, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Everything should be made as simple as possible, fiat currency, fixed income, game design, hindsight bias, housing crisis, index fund, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, linear programming, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, market microstructure, mental accounting, money market fund, Myron Scholes, Nash equilibrium, new economy, Nick Leeson, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, South Sea Bubble, Stephen Hawking, survivorship bias, systematic trading, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, value at risk, Vanguard fund, William of Occam, zero-sum game

. • You have to believe from the start that you can do it. It takes courage to do what the majority is not doing. • Who is John Galt? • Atul Gawande speaks directly to the importance of practice: “There have now been many studies of elite performers— concert violinists, chess grandmasters, professional ice-skaters, mathematicians, and so forth—and the biggest difference researchers find between them and lesser performers is the amount of deliberate practice they’ve accumulated. Indeed, the most important talent may be the talent for practice itself…the most important role that innate factors play may be in a person’s willingness to engage in sustained training.” • Online personality testing can be purchased at www.knowyourtype.com. If you try to impose a rigid discipline while teaching a child or a chimp, you are working against the boundless curiosity and need for relaxed play that make learning possible in the first place…learning cannot be controlled; it is out of control by design.


pages: 543 words: 153,550

Model Thinker: What You Need to Know to Make Data Work for You by Scott E. Page

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, algorithmic trading, Alvin Roth, assortative mating, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Checklist Manifesto, computer age, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, deliberate practice, discrete time, distributed ledger, en.wikipedia.org, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, Everything should be made as simple as possible, experimental economics, first-price auction, Flash crash, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, High speed trading, impulse control, income inequality, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, Nash equilibrium, natural language processing, Network effects, p-value, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, phenotype, pre–internet, prisoner's dilemma, race to the bottom, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, school choice, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, selection bias, six sigma, social graph, spectrum auction, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Supply of New York City Cabdrivers, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the rule of 72, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, urban sprawl, value at risk, web application, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

Hence, this book balances accessibility and depth. It can function both as a resource and as a guide. The formal descriptions are isolated in stand-alone boxes. It avoids line after line of equations, which overwhelm even the most dedicated readers. The formalism that remains should be engaged and absorbed. Modeling is a craft, mastered through engagement; it is not a spectator sport. It requires deliberate practice. In modeling, mathematics and logic play the role of an expert coach. They correct our flaws. The remainder of the book is organized as follows: Chapters 2 and 3 motivate the many-model approach. Chapter 4 discusses the challenges of modeling people. The next twenty or so chapters cover individual models or classes of models. By considering one type of model at a time, we can better wrap our heads around its assumptions, implications, and applications.


Melody Beattie 4 Title Bundle: Codependent No More and 3 Other Best Sellers by Melody Beattie: A Collection of Four Melody Beattie Best Sellers by Melody Beattie

Albert Einstein, call centre, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, fear of failure, out of africa, Own Your Own Home, Ralph Waldo Emerson

I was able to move forward with my life. When we begin letting go, it may seem almost impossible just to relax and let go. As with anything else, with practice and repetition, we will become more skilled. That doesn’t mean we won’t need to remember to do it. It just means letting go will become easier, in time. If you’ve become highly skilled at worrying, obsessing, or trying to control, deliberately practice relaxing and letting go until you’re good at that, too. God, help me make the discipline of relaxing and letting go a daily part of my life. Teach me to let go with poise, dignity, and ease. January 16 Drop it How do you let go? I just can’t let go? It’s impossible to let go of this. These are thoughts that may run through our minds when we worry, dwell, and obsess. Pick up something around you.

When people suggest being grateful, it’s easy to think that means counting our blessings and just saying thank you for what’s good. When we’re learning to speak the language of letting go, however, we learn to say thanks for everything in our lives, whether we feel grateful or not. That’s how we turn things around. Make a list of everything in your life that you’re not grateful for. You may not have to make a list; you probably have the things that bother you memorized. Then deliberately practice gratitude for everything on the list. The power of gratitude won’t let you down. Being grateful for whatever we have always turns what we have into more. God, show me the power of gratitude. Help me make it a regular, working tool in my life. August 2 Gratitude is larger than life One day, a friend called me on the phone. He was going through a difficult time and wondering if and when things would ever turn around and improve.


The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism by Noam Chomsky

anti-communist, business climate, colonial rule, declining real wages, deliberate practice, European colonialism, friendly fire, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, land reform, land tenure, new economy, RAND corporation, strikebreaker, union organizing

When spirits are broken, the reservation is used “as a manhunt center where tamed Indians are trained in fratricide.” In a recent visit, Arens was impressed with the “striking absence of young adult males,” the horrendous condition of the children, with festering sores, distended abdomens and widespread symptoms of the protein-deficiency disease kwashiorkor, and the refusal of medication and medical care as a general and deliberate practice.64 Arens, even on a guided tour, was aghast at the systematic maltreatment and felt himself “engulfed by the collective gloom of a people who had given up on life.”65 The systematic humiliation and ethnocide, Münzel writes, “produces docile Indians who are sometimes taken to Asunción and exhibited to the public. Thus, the ‘good image’ of the reservation (as illustrated by the well-fed and smiling Aché photographed by a New York Times reporter in 1974) is preserved.”


pages: 687 words: 189,243

A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy by Joel Mokyr

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business cycle, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Copley Medal, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, Deng Xiaoping, Edmond Halley, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, framing effect, germ theory of disease, Haber-Bosch Process, hindsight bias, income inequality, information asymmetry, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land tenure, law of one price, Menlo Park, moveable type in China, new economy, phenotype, price stability, principal–agent problem, rent-seeking, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, survivorship bias, the market place, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, ultimatum game, World Values Survey, Wunderkammern

By the time of the Enlightenment the practical responsibilities of scientists to engage the needs of industry and agriculture were widely accepted. The bridges between the propositional knowledge created by the savants and the practical needs of industrialists, farmers, and navigators were occupied in large part by engineers, mathematicians, doctors, and chemists or scientists with a strong and deliberate practical bend. The great Leibniz himself was a prolific inventor and tinkerer, working, among others, on propellers, mining machines, pumps, and his famous calculating machine. Leonhard Euler, the most prominent mathematician of the age, was concerned with ship design, lenses, the buckling of beams, and (with his less famous son Johann) contributed a great deal to hydraulics.16 Among the engineers, the aforementioned John T.


The Transformation Of Ireland 1900-2000 by Diarmaid Ferriter

anti-communist, Bob Geldof, British Empire, Celtic Tiger, collective bargaining, deliberate practice, edge city, falling living standards, financial independence, ghettoisation, greed is good, hiring and firing, housing crisis, immigration reform, income per capita, land reform, manufacturing employment, moral panic, New Journalism, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, open economy, postnationalism / post nation state, sensible shoes, the market place, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, wage slave, women in the workforce

Norris began his proceedings in 1977, seeking a declaration that the law transgressed the constitutional right to privacy. As Norris recalled, the difficulty was not just a legal one, but also ‘a barrier in terms of popular and political prejudice’. When his High Court case was dismissed in 1980, he appealed to the Supreme Court, which also rejected his case, the Chief Justice, Tom O’Higgins, asserting that ‘the deliberate practice of homosexuality is morally wrong, that it is damaging both to the health of individuals and the public and finally, that it is potentially harmful to the institution of marriage. I can find no inconsistency with the Constitution in the laws which make such conduct criminal.’ Norris duly initiated a case under the European Convention on Human Rights. There was no political will in favour of changing the law, and Barry Desmond recalled that ‘the advice available to the government from counsel was that the AIDS argument should be used if it was a factor in the government’s thinking on the desirability of retaining present laws’.