Traditional, Purposeful, and Deliberate Practice

Rote memorisation is enemy of learning. Rote memorisation celebrated for its utility in successfully passing examinations is the enemy of mankind.

Okay, maybe that’s hyperbole, but you get my point.

Too often we often quote the 10,000 hour rule to give ourselves a pat on the back, and often our kids as well. But, what parents, children, and the actors and institutions that make up the education system fail to realise is that it is 10,000 hours of deliberate practice that puts one on the road to genius-level mastery.

Swedish psychologist K. Anders Ericsson claims that there are distinct and clear differences between Traditional Practice, Purposeful Practice, and Deliberate Practice.

Traditional Practice is about preparing for something that needs preparation.
Purposeful Practice is about reflecting on the preparation, and understanding and attempting to implement the feedback you’ve received from stakeholders, on something you are passionate about.
Deliberate Practice is the deadly combination of preparation, reflection, and repetition, with ultimate mastery as the ultimate goal.

So, what’s The Lesson here?

As a learner, you need to be aware of where you will be needing Traditional Practice, Purposeful Practice, and Deliberate Practice. You will not always get it right on the first go, but as Ovid says, “Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.”

You will suck at something you’re passionate about, but if you’re willing to put in the hours and the have the mental fortitude to see it through regardless of the timeline to see any kind of a successful result, you’ve already won half the battle, my friend.

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