For the first time in decades of groundbreaking research, the inventor of the 10,000-hour rule explains his techniques for developing mastery of any skill
We live in a world full of people with extraordinary abilities. Consider what Roger Federer can do with a tennis ball, or Connor McDavid with a puck. There are chess grandmasters who can play several dozen different games simultaneously–while blindfolded–and a seemingly unending supply of young musical prodigies who would have astonished aficionados a century ago. We are dramatically better at just about everything than we were just a generation ago.
We assume, though, that these peak performers are the lucky ones, the ones with a gift. That’s only partly true. The fact is we are all lucky. We all have that gift. As Ericsson’s whole career has shown, with the proper practice, we are all capable of extraordinary feats.
On the surface, the techniques that chess players use to develop their skills seem quite different from the methods soccer players use to perfect their games, which in turn seem quite different from how pianists improve their playing. But at a deeper level, they are all variations on a single fundamental approach to learning, what Ericsson, a world-renowned researcher, has named “deliberate practice”: a simple, yet powerful system for enhancing learning.
This approach to expertise has the potential to revolutionize how we think about every sort of education and training. We are not limited by an endowment of natural talent. We create our own limits.
Whether you want to step up your game at work or on the weekend, or help your kid achieve athletic or academic goals, Ericsson’s revolutionary methods will show you how to master almost anything.