In the previous installments in this Practice Principles series we looked at: 1. Finding the sweet spot in practice 2. Taking off your watch in practice 3. Breaking the skill down 4. Building it back up. In this final part in the 7 Practice Principles series we will look at: 5. Embracing the struggle 6. Deep practice 7. Make it fun Embracing the struggle People who have achieved remarkable talents embrace struggle. This is what happens when you’re reaching for something, falling short, and reaching again. Most of us instinctively avoid struggle, because it’s uncomfortable. It feels like failure. However, when it comes to developing your talent, struggle is not an option – it’s a biological necessity. This might sound strange, but it’s the way evolution has built us. The struggle and frustration you feel at the edges of your abilities – that uncomfortable burn of almost, almost – is the sensation of constructing new connections in your brain. Your brain works just like your muscles: no pain, no gain. Deep Practice With the deep practice, small daily practice “snacks” are more effective than once a week practice binges. The reason has to do with the way our brains grow – incrementally, a little each day, even as we sleep. Daily practice, even for five minutes, nourishes this process, while more occasional practice forces your brain to play catch up. The other advantage of practicing daily is that it becomes a habit. The active practicing- making time to do it, doing it well, can be thought of as a skill in itself, perhaps the most important skill of all. Give it time. According to research, establishing a new habit takes 66 days. Make it fun. When you think about practice you may think boring! This tip is to turn your practice into games. Make practice fun. When you do your skills improve faster.

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