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Is Mastery Really a Mystery?

Categories: Professional Development

“Why do you still practice after all of these years?”

As a professional speaker, I’m frequently asked (and surprised by) this question.

I practice because I want to continually get better. I practice because each audience deserves my best.

My obsession with practice has been validated by research published in the past few years.

Professor Daniel J. Levitin, Ph.D., a neuroscientist, and writer, suggests that 10,000 hours of practice are necessary to get to a level of mastery associated with being a world class expert. Apparently, it takes the brain this long to assimilate all it needs to know to achieve true mastery.

Ten thousand hours. That’s about three hours a day, for 10 years. So often, people assume that others are naturally gifted musicians, leaders and speakers. Not true.

People that achieve greatness work at it much harder than everyone else.

Practice isn’t always fun, but from my perspective, it’s necessary if you want to excel.

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