We all want to be successful in what we do. But what makes successful people different from the masses? What do they do differently than the rest of us? The biggest thing is that they practice and train constantly in their chosen field. They also practice and train in a very mindful and purposeful way. They analyze their performance soon after and find places in that performance where they can improve. Many use the training cycle to improve. After you perform, you analyze that performance and look for mistakes or things you could have done better or more efficiently, then you go back and you train with a purpose in order to rectify those mistakes. While that basic training cycle is the foundation for success, successful people go even further.
Here are five ways successful people learn and train differently than the rest of us:
1. They Extend
At a certain point, the amount of effort to improve the things you are already great at exponentially increases. You see diminishing returns. The key is to practice the things you are bad at. Take your worst techniques and train to make them better. Take something you cannot do and train to do it. Successful people extend their reach beyond the point they currently can. They try to accomplish things they have never done before. They constantly push themselves into unknown territory, and they do it slowly and incrementally until they have pushed their boundaries past what they could do previously.
2. They Train Step By Step
The key to training is to train in small but attainable steps. Once you have analyzed your mistakes, look at them and try to break the task down into the smallest possible chunk. Focus intensely on these small chunks and then try to bring these chunks together until you can perform the task better than before. Push your abilities incrementally. The goal is to slowly increase your skill until you can do the task faster, more efficiently and more accurately. Any progress is progress, no matter how small.
3. They Train With Purpose
When you train, focus your attention and training only on the small aspect you wish to improve. You may want to be faster and more accurate in your task, but it is hard to train for both speed and accuracy at the same time. First, train for accuracy until you are as accurate as you want to be. Once you have achieved that, then start increasing the speed of the task while trying to maintain your established level of accuracy. Train one thing you want to improve, and only that one thing until you can achieve it with consistency.
4. They Analyze Performance Immediately
Immediately after you perform your task, whether it is giving a speech or installing a new radiator, write down in a notebook all of the things you could have done better or more efficiently. When you train that skill or attempt that task in the future, then look at your notes and try to eliminate those deficiencies. If you wait a day or more, then you will forget the little things that will be fresh in your mind immediately after you perform that task. A good idea is to keep a notebook where you not only log your mistakes while performing the task, but also log your improvements when you do that task again. Every time you perform that task, you will identify things you can do better next time.
Successful people are ones who actively look at the bright side, work to make things better, and believe in the power of unconventional thinking.
An important note to make is that analyzing your mistakes is important to improvement and to success, but do not become obsessed with them. Do not let your mistakes beat you down into negativity. Mistakes can be fixed and failure is not fatal. It is easy to let mistakes or failures drag you down. Don’t let them. They can be improved with practice, and you will improve if you train with purpose and aim for small achievable goals.
5. They Change Up Their Practice Sessions
While still focusing on the task you want to improve, sometimes it helps to change up the way you practice that task. Try performing the task as slowly as you can so you can analyze each individual motion or segment of the task in detail. Try performing the task as swiftly as you can while just trying to achieve raw speed. Discard speed and practice maximum accuracy. Try to accomplish the task perfectly with no mistakes. Try to accomplish the task without making any mistakes without any regard to speed. Use video or audio feedback as a means to improve your performance of the task. You will see things in a video of yourself that you didn’t even realize you were doing. You may feel like you are doing it correctly, but then watch yourself on video and you will immediately notice mistakes that you can then train to eliminate.
Keep practicing. Change it up occasionally. Think about how you can do the task better. Break it down into smaller tasks if possible. Push yourself beyond what you think you can do, but the biggest thing is to keep trying. Training is winning and losing is learning.