Saturday, June 12, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

This poster perfectly illustrates how I often feel. However I recently heard an interesting radio discussion where the person being interviewed said that there is no such thing as talent and when somebody is good at something it is because they have done an awful lot of practice.

This theory is supported by a 2006 study by cognitive psychology researchers Ericsson and Ward who said that what many people think of as "talent" may just be the motivation and commitment to continually challenge yourself.

Infact Malcolm Gladwell put forward the idea that it takes ten thousand hours or 10 years of practice to become an expert at something. Mozart may have written his first opera when he was 14 but he had been practicing music since he was 3 years old.

If you are considering trying something you thought you had no talent for remember that 'deep practice' is what is important. This means stumbling, making mistakes and slowly learning to master your activity. To encourage a culture of practice in children they should be praised for effort rather than talent.

I am not sure I 100% agree with this viewpoint but it is certainly a much more positive outlook rather than having a belief that there is no possibilty for personal development or growth. What do you think?

1 comment:

Carole said...

Well, there's hope for us all then! I've often wondered if people are really born with a particular talent or were their parents just very pushy when they were very young. Interesting article.