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How to Harness the Power of Deep Practice to Master Any Discipline

Playing my first-ever guitar. Ignore the terrible form. (Photo Credit: Hilary Higgins)

What is Deep Practice?

Speed and accuracy of thought, as well as extensive myelination of the brain, are both hallmarks of genius.

Achieving Ignition

It took calling myself a “guitar player” and watching my husband play to achieve the ignition necessary for deep practice. (Photo Credit: Hilary Higgins)

Deep practice cannot exist without ignition. The inner spark of motivation cuts through an often painful and challenging process to engender continued commitment.

Identifying a Master Coach

Coaches care about the performance of those they coach — their lived experiences, skills, blind spots, and more. Master coaches truly understand those they coach and design practices, exercises, feedback, and actions individually tailored to them.

Nightly practice at my music stand.

A coach is not someone who beats you down to build you back up, or acts like a close friend. A coach focuses on delivering information customized to your needs, whether that means being supportive or being tough.

Implementing Deep Practice

Investing in my luthier guitar sparked a greater commitment to deep practice.

1. Ask who you want to become and then watch them perform.

2. Identify someone in your orbit who has achieved success.

3. Find a coach that embodies both meanings of the word.

4. Embrace breakdowns.

5. Forget the big improvement and focus on the small.

6. Keep asking this one question.

7. Love the plateau.

8. Be Bruce Lee’s nightmare.

Parting Words

I am also learning how to learn, cultivating patience, and reminding myself that no matter how good I may be in another area of my life, I can always be better.

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Alida Miranda-Wolff

Teaching Love. Scaling Empathy. Founder & CEO of Ethos Talent. Executive Director of Embolden & Co. Program Director for 1871’s WIC Accelerator.