How to be better?

I’m sure everyone has heard of this story.

Mozart was hailed as a genius and talented composer by many people.

He began to play piano and compose music at the age of 4; at the age of 6, he began a small tour with his father, and has since, started travel around in various countries to play a variety of musical instruments.

In Mozart’s life, he completed 21 stage and opera works, 15 Masses, over 50 symphonies, 25 piano concertos, 12 violin concertos, 27 concert arias, 17 piano sonatas, 26 string quartets, and many other pieces.

Seeing such a resume, we will surely lament: Mozart is a genius!

Mozart started his tour at 6, and I couldn’t even read a note!

Did Mozart had a talent for music since he was born?


Let’s take a closer look at the story behind Mozart.

You will find that his father was originally a violinist, composer, and his mother was also passionate about music and could play the violin and cello.

In such a musical family, Mozart was influenced since he was a child.

Before he had officially learned the piano, he must have been influenced more or less by his parents’ innate and acquired.

And the achievement Mozart had, not only the impact of talent and genes but more by this method – deliberate practice.

What is deliberate practice?

The concept of deliberate practice was put forward by Anders Ericsson, a psychologist at Florida State University.

He believes that deliberate practice is a purposeful exercise compared to the traditional unconscious, aimless repetitive exercises that require you to get out of your comfort zone, have specific goals, focus on them, and include feedback every time you practice.

A lot of successful people using this deliberate practice method, from being an ordinary person to being a successful person.

In the book “Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise,” the author also studies a large number of outstanding people’s growth experiences, and they find that these outstanding people will go through four stages since they were young.

The first stage: generating interest.

The second stage: become serious.

Third Stage: Full commitment.

Fourth stage: Pioneering and innovative.

Just as Mozart grew up under the influence of his parents’ music, he became interested in music and then began to learn the piano under his father’s guidance. Then, under the guidance of his father, he began to undergo formal training and gained confidence through the tour. Next, he put a huge amount of effort into the tours in different countries.

He accumulated to a certain extent in the field of music, began to carry out all kinds of innovation so that later reshaped and defined classical music.


Therefore, if parents want their children to learn a skill, the most important thing is to let the children have interest in it, and then through praise, motivation and other means to give them the motivation to continue to learn so that the children may soon like it, and willing to actively learn.

Actively learn can have a better effect than passive learning.

There are a few points to note in these four stages:

1. Establish psychological representation.

Psychological representation is a psychological structure that corresponds to an object, a point of view, certain information, or anything else that our brain is thinking about. Simply put, it is when you are doing something or seeing a thing that the brain can quickly react to judgment.

For example, when it comes to the Mona Lisa, you will think of Leonardo da Vinci, and the smiling picture of the Mona Lisa will be shown in your mind.

The use of psychological representations in the field of expertise can help us understand and interpret information effectively, quickly, and to keep it in our brains so that it can be used for analytical decisions in the future.

Like a chess player, the more training he has experienced, the more advanced the psychological representation he has established and has the ability to make judgments and choices quickly when facing different chessboard.

2. Gold standard.

If you want to establish high-quality psychological representation, you need a golden rule: deliberate practice.

Deliberate practice and psychological representation complement each other, the longer the deliberate practice time, the better the skills, the better the psychological representation created, and the better the psychological representation, the more effective to practice, honing skills.

So how can you master efficient and useful methods in your deliberate practice?

Before you do the deliberate practice, look for outstanding people in the industry or field, read their biographies, and see what they use to make themselves so successful, and then sum up the relevant methods, and add them to your own deliberate practice.

The reason why outstanding people have become successful is that they have mastered efficient methods, and these methods have been summed up by countless failures. Use the way from successful people may help you take a lot fewer detours.

But there is a premise that their methods must be applicable to you.


3. The 10,000-hour rule.

Gladwell said in “Outliers”: “The thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.”

“Well, it’s roughly how long it takes to put in ten thousand hours of hard practice. Ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness.”

Although this statement is not completely wrong, not everyone can become an expert after only 10,000 hours of practice.

But one thing to be sure of is that no matter what you do; if you want to achieve results, gain success, you need to do a lot of training, a long time to practice.

4. “Three F principle”.

There is also a need to keep in mind the “three F principles”: Focus, feedback, and fix it for deliberate practice.

Focus can help you quickly enter the heart flow time in practice, and achieve twice the effect. Feedback and fix it is in the course of your practice or after the practice, you found your mistakes and think deeply, and then correct it, reduce the time to make the same mistakes next time to improve efficiency.

These three are indispensable in deliberate practice.

From ordinary to excellent, is not easy to be achieved with simple 10,000-hour training, but need to go through a lot of deliberate practice, and have a good tutor who can often give you guidance and feedback, in order to help you refine, towards excellence.