We hear about people, organizations or teams that rise to the occasion. They do amazing things in various situations. But how do they do that?
This question led me to investigate it in my own life and in countless situations around me. What I found is that you donít actually rise to the occasion, you default to your practice. What that means, is that the things that you consciously work at and do every day, will be what you do when it counts.
This rule shows up in almost every area of life, and is referenced with various sayings. For example, as a big sports fan, I see this every night on Sports Center; players and coaches discussing wins and losses and spouting off all the clichťs, like ďweíve come together and are playing like a teamĒ or Ēwe didnít give 100% and the result tonight showed it.Ē However, the truth is that these teams did give 100%, but they only preformed as well as they practiced. In fact, what I discovered is that you donít even perform that well; typically you only perform at 50-75% of your most recent best practice.
This is why people like, Tiger Woods, Lebron James, Steve Jobs, and U2, to name just a few, are extraordinary at what they do. They spend more time than any of their competitors practicing and focusing. Then, when they perform their skills, itís easier, more natural and produces better results, because theyíve practiced so much.
Everything we do that we are great at, is because we take conscious effort to practice regularly. Conversely, the areas of our life which we are not great at; the same principles apply here in reverse.
One of the key tools these people and so many others use to achieve their extraordinary results is called, spaced repetition. This is how we build habits, patterns and rules in life. Anything we do with enough focus and impact over a set period of time will build excellence. There are other factors that weigh in, such as certain physical and mental disabilities that can hinder or help people perform specific tasks, but for you and I, most of what we want in life is simply created in the practice.
But remember practice doesnít not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.
James is a personal coach specializing in transition coaching. For information on coaching opportunities with James, please email firstname.lastname@example.org