is the act of rehearsing a behavior over and over, or engaging in an activity again and again, for the purpose of improving or mastering it, as in the phrase “practice makes perfect”. Sports teams practice to prepare for actual games. Playing a musical instrument well takes a lot of practice. It is a method of learning and of acquiring experience.

Then, how true is the phrase “practice makes perfect”? Well, according to the 10,000 hour rule it’s pretty spot on:

However, the difference between ineffective and effective practice means the difference between mediocrity and mastery.

According to Gary Marcus, a cognitive psychologist at New York University who studies how the brain acquires language, “hundreds of thousands of people took music lessons when they were young and remember little or nothing,” he points out, giving lie to the notion that learning an instrument is easiest when you’re a kid. The important thing is not just practice but deliberate practice, “a constant sense of self-evaluation, of focusing on one’s weaknesses, rather than simply fooling around and playing to one’s strengths. Studies show that practice aimed at remedying weaknesses is a better predictor of expertise than raw number of hours.”

Effective practice consists of relentlessly focusing on our weaknesses and inventing new ways to root them out. In other words, you must work hard and be quick to fix your errors in order to get perfect.

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