Practice of Grit

deliberate practice

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance (Chapter 7 Review)

The author found out that the grittier people who practice more in the spelling bee, and in the end they get better results. It’s obvious.

All people who are known for their grit all have a thing the Japanese call “kaizen”, or translated as “continuous improvement”. Like the barbershop. They always want to improve and improve, even though they’re already an expert on that subject.

A Swedish guy called Ericsson likes to study about experts, and he finds out that the more you get better at something, the slower you learn about something new. He also said that it takes about an average 10k hours of practice to become an expert at something.

Experts have been found to practice differently than normal people. They always try to improve on one specific weakness they have. They put a goal on what they want to achieve little by little and work to improve.

Deliberate practice was first seen in pro chess players, musicians and sports athletes, but it can be applied to literally anything. Benjamin Franklin improved his essay-writing by looking at newspapers.

The deliberate practicers of the spelling bee won by learning until they mastered Latin and Greek words, whereas the lower-end practicers practiced by doing word games.

Deliberate practice is THE most effective way to improve your skills, but it’s much less enjoyable than passive practice. The spelling bee guys didn’t really enjoy practicing that hard for the national spelling bee, and compared reading or doing word games to eating.

The Ericsson guy said that even experts can only handle one hour straight of just doing deliberate practice before taking a break.

But a guy with a surname of Csik-something (pronounced Cheeks-sent-me-high, as said under the page) disagrees, and he said that when experts do difficult stuff about their career, there’s a “flow”, so they concentrate to the point where everything feels fast and you don’t even have to think.

Ericsson says that happens, but he said that deliberate practice won’t ever feel as enjoyable as the “flow”, because deliberate practice is planned and the person studies and thinks hard, while flow is spontaneous. He says deliberate practicing is when the “challenge exceeds skill”, and flow is when the challenge is on par with the skill, that’s why they could do it properly. Here, the author writes the Csik guy’s name often, does she write it one letter at a time or does she copypaste?

Csik comes up with a counter-counter opinion, saying that the quote “The roots of knowledge are bitter, but the fruits are sweet” is untrue because even if the learning part is intensive, it won’t be tedious if you feel like it’s worth knowing and it’s in your interest zone.

When the author arranged a meet-up between them, she finds that they look very much alike, and noted they both would make great mall santas.

Ericsson and Csik did a debate, but there wasn’t a clear and absolute answer to the question that is do “experts suffer or are they ecstatic?” (I don’t know what ecstatic means but I think it means very happy [or enjoying?]).

After years of researching this subject and not finding a stronger fact about either claim, she made a questionnaire. What she found out that gritty people both do lots of deliberate practice AND have more flow. Deliberate practice is more about the practicing part while the flow is more about rhe doing part.

The author talked about the swimmer Rowdy Gaines again (I think he’s the go-to source for interviews) and she found out that grittier people tend to make deliberate practice more acceptable than ungritty people.

The author also tells a story about how she made a Ted Talk. She made a video conference for the rehearsal, and got criticism on her speech. She improved her speech structure, and when she showed it to her family, she had even more criticism (from her kids).

After improving on these things, she made the Ted Talk and it was very different than the original idea that she made.

Deliberate practice has to have a clear goal, full concentration and effort, immediate feedback and repetition. Even if people work until they drop, they might not be doing deliberate practice.

An olympic professional rower visited a Japanese rowing team, he sees that they just practice for hours, but without a set goal on what to improve.

Here the author teaches kids on how to do deliberate practice and make it a habit. If you have a routine you’ll start practicing automatically.

If you don’t feel embarassed or nervous while doing deliberate practice, you can actually make it enjoyable. Toddlers do everything over and over again without feeling embarassed if they fail, that’s why they learn so quickly.

The author says teachers need to set an example to kids that failing isn’t an embarassing thing, but it’s how people grow. See, how can kids get improve by school when the teachers are crap.

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