Thursday, January 18, 2007

Practice, expertise and passion

Interesting comment today by the authors of the best selling book Freakonomics re: "practice makes perfect, revisited." For some reason, I'm increasingly sharing with people the general findings from the research on expertise...after people ask me what I would recommend to allow them to move to higher levels in their jobs, careers, etc. The Freakonomics post reminded me of the advice I typically provide, which is nothing I developed...I'm just spitting back what I've heard.

Bottom line - If you want to get ahead in your field (which, in many respects is like becoming an "expert" in a specific domain), you need to engage in approximately 10 years of systematic, sustained, highly motivated (I would even suggest you have a passion for what you do) deliberate practice. Yes...hard work is the key...but it must be hard work with passion. If you want to read a very good book on passion, check out Kay Redfield Jamison's book "Exuberance: The Passion for Life."

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