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The Sponsored Listings displayed above are served automatically by a third party. Neither the service provider nor the domain owner maintain jual bitcoin relationship with the advertisers. Anders Ericsson proposes that almost all of us have the seeds of excellence within us—it’s just a question of nurturing them via deliberate practice. Deliberate practice is the breakdown of expertise into a  series of smaller, attainable practices.

A deliberate practitioner engages in structured activities that improve performance in a specific area. The goal of deliberate practice is not just to reach your potential but to build it, to make things possible that were not possible before. It takes a long time, and it’s hard. That is perhaps the biggest question that anyone engaged in purposeful or deliberate practice will eventually face.

Getting started is easy, as anyone who has visited a gym after New Year’s knows. You decide that you want to get in shape or learn to play the guitar or pick up a new language, and so you jump right in. Then after a while, reality hits. So that’s the problem in a nutshell: purposeful practice is hard work. The question is, What can you do about it? What can we learn from expert performers about what it takes to keep going? Let’s get one thing out of the way right up front.

Motivation is quite different from willpower. There are some interesting parallels between improving performance and losing weight. The ones who are successful in losing weight over the long run are those who have successfully redesigned their lives, building new habits that allow them to maintain the behaviors that keep them losing weight in spite of all of the temptations that threaten their success. A similar thing is true for those who maintain purposeful or deliberate practice over the long run. They have generally developed various habits that help them keep going. As a rule of thumb, I think that anyone who hopes to improve skill in a particular area should devote an hour or more each day to practice that can be done with full concentration. For purposeful or deliberate practice to be effective, you need to push yourself outside your comfort zone and maintain your focus, but those are mentally draining activities.

Expert performers do two things—both seemingly unrelated to motivation—that can help. The first is general physical maintenance: getting enough sleep and keeping healthy. If you’re tired or sick, it’s that much harder to maintain focus and that much easier to slack off. The second thing is to limit the length of your practice sessions to about an hour. You can’t maintain intense concentration for much longer than that—and when you’re first starting out, it’s likely to be less.

If you want to practice longer than an hour, go for an hour and take a break. Fortunately, you will find that as you maintain your practice over time it will seem easier. Both your body and your mind will habituate to the practice. Or maybe it’s for totally practical, extrinsic purposes. You hate public speaking, but you recognize that your lack of speaking skills is holding you back in your career, so you decide you want to learn how to address an audience.

All of these are possible roots of motivation, but they aren’t—or at least they shouldn’t be—your only motivators. Studies of expert performers tell us that once you have practiced for a while and can see the results, the skill itself can become part of your motivation. Another key motivational factor in deliberate practice is a belief that you can succeed. In order to push yourself when you really don’t feel like it, you must believe that you can improve and—particularly for people shooting to become expert performers—that you can rank among the best. If you stop believing that you can reach a goal, either because you’ve regressed or you’ve plateaued, don’t quit. One of the best ways to create and sustain social motivation is to surround yourself with people who will encourage and support and challenge you in your endeavors.