James Clear on deliberate practice

Obsessives like me can’t help but ponder whether we can become “master” of an activity we’re attracted to. Anders Ericsson’s notion of deliberate practice – dramatically focussed, specific, sustained training can make you a master – preoccupied my thoughts after his wonderful book came out last year. But surely, I whined internally, some things are not to be? I can never, for example, I reckoned, be an amazing birder because my eyesight is poor.
Well, in his blog article, “The myth and magic of deliberate practice,” James Clear endorses this caveat in spades. A third to a quarter of elite success is believed, by the experts, to be due to one’s genes.
Now, who amongst us ordinary folks aspires to elite success? Not I. But some of us do hunger for some kind of “mastery,” perhaps as a journey, and for us, the jury is out between the extremes of “anyone can” and “some of us are naturals.” Anders Ericsson is surely partly right but so is James Clear – what does this mean for us?

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