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How to become specialists in a particular field

By: Stephan Smith | Date: 24 February 2014

How to become specialists in a particular field New article


In 95% of cases success in a certain job is determined by things far from natural talent. If so, what should a person do when they have set their goal to become the best?

Here's what.


Practice! 10,000 hours practice

You are about to spend a long time to acquire the mastery, but the number of hours of training itself doesn’t solve a thing - activities should be thought over and with maximum effort. The principle "a soldier sleeps, service goes" is not appropriate here.

The “right" tactics presupposes a correct formulation of the purpose, achieving a certain progress every day and countless exercises for improving your habits.

If you want to be successful, be as close as you can to the selected cause. You want to be a boxer? It is not enough to beat the punching box. You have to step into the ring and fight a real opponent.

Do not be passive. To give it a try is much more effective than simply observe and analyze.

Practice is not just a repetition. Be tough on yourself and continue making perfect all the details required for the chosen cause.

Isolate yourself. The best specialists are usually introverts. Why? Because mental activities need privacy. Even for people who work in a team, personal practice is vital.

Exercise as much as possible. It will take at least eight weeks before you overcome the initial level of competence, and about 10 years to become a true professional.

Know your "golden middle”. It is the best when 50-80 percent of all your efforts prove successful. When they’re less it’s likely to quit, and when they’re more- to drop it.


Be persistent in achieving your objectives.

You will never overcome the threshold of 10 000 hours of training if you throw away everything. This is obvious. Scientists who explore the success of people who perfected themselves in different areas and different conditions                     (coming from most prestigious universities in the world and military academies to children's competitions for spelling) argue that the persistence for success is more important than the IQ.

You have to be aware that the road to success will be a long one. Given the same amount of practice, the group whose sessions were provided over a long period exceeded the "short-term" group in level of mastery by 400% .


Find a good mentor

You need someone who would point out your errors quickly and would focus your attention on the main things. Good coaches operate on the principle "Explanation, showing, copying, correction and repetition".


Focus on what is not working

Look for disadvantages in your own work and learn from your mistakes. Novices like it when they’re praised because it helps them preserve their interest in the job. Real professionals focus their attention on the negative reviews, that’s why they’re constantly looking for opportunities for self-improvement. Special attention to their failures is one of the mandatory features that distinguish true professionals.


Focus on development

Always try to do excellent, not just well. If you set a goal to be better today than yesterday, your motivation will increase as well. Your tasks become more and more interesting and fill you with energy. Bear in mind that when perfectionism is directed to internal purposes, it will affect your mastery positively, and when it’s aimed at the approval of others - negatively.



You need to know what works and what is a waste of time in order to be able to adjust your direction as fast as possible. Such a response can be obtained from your boss, from a stopwatch or from a computer program - use every opportunity to evaluate your progress.


It is worth it

It is very important to remember that you do not practice in a vacuum. Intense workouts are exhausting and difficult, but over time they bring more and more pleasure every day. To be occupied with something of your own is the most powerful tool for achieving happiness. There's plenty of evidence about that.

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