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The 4 Rituals That Will Make You an Expert at Anything by TIME


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Here’s what Anders says can make you an expert:

  • Get Help: Find a mentor who can help you develop that image in your head of the best way to do something.
  • It’s Not “Try Harder”, It’s “Try Different”: Design specific activities to address your weak points.
  • It’s About Doing, Not Knowing: Remember the three F’s: Focus, Feedback, Fix it.
  • Study The Past To Have A Better Future: Find examples that have been judged and quiz yourself.

Don’t worry; you do not have to be a genius to become an expert at most things. In fact, Anders says it might be an advantage not to be a genius.

When elite chess players were studied, the ones with lower IQ’s often worked harder and then did better because they felt they were at a disadvantage.

From Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise:

…among these young, elite chess players, not only was a higher IQ no advantage, but it seemed to put them at a slight disadvantage. The reason, the researchers found, was that the elite players with lower IQ’s tended to practice more, which improved their chess game to the point that they played better than the high-IQ elite players.

Expertise takes a lot of hard, solitary work. That can be difficult to get motivated for. But this is where friends come in. Surround yourself with people who love and support you.

From Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise:

One of the best ways to create and sustain social motivation is to surround yourself with people who will encourage and support and challenge you in your endeavors.

When I interviewed Yale professor Nicholas Christakis, he talked about just how important the people who love us are in the process of achieving our goals:

It’s very important for people to understand that when they make a positive change in their lives it doesn’t just affect them. It affects everyone they know and many of the people that those people know and many of the people that those people in turn know. If you make a positive change in your life it actually ripples through the social fabric and comes to benefit many other people. This recognition that we are all connected and that in our connectedness we affect each other’s lives I think is a very fundamental and moving observation of our humanity.

There’s an old saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” I believe it.

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