In the book Art and Fear, the authors discuss a ceramics professor who split their class into two groups.
One group was assigned to produce just one final ceramic masterpiece, while the second group was assigned to make as many pieces as possible.
The professor was astounded to find that the second group, those who were asked to make as many as possible also produced the highest quality ceramic. They beat out the group whose aim was to just make 1 masterpiece.
This shows the power of repetition.
This reminds me of a quote from Bruce Lee, “I fear not the man who practiced 10,000 kicks once but the man who practiced one kick 10,000 times”.
He knew the power of repetition.
Another example is from Laszlo Polgar, a Hungarian author who studied intelligence. He suggested that geniuses were not born but made with early and intensive specialization.
He and his wife decided to test this theory with their own children and chose chess as an objectively measurable activity.
They home-schooled their children in chess and by the age of 5 the eldest, Judit was beating veteran players.
All 3 became chess grandmasters with Judit becoming known as the best female player in history.
When someone told Polgar that their girls couldn’t have achieved such success if they weren’t prodigies, he paused and thought:
‘If they had seen the painfully slow progress, the inch-by-inch improvements, they would not have been so quick to call Judit a prodigy.’”
Polgar wasn’t suggesting that everyone should subscribe to insanely vigorous schedules from early on. He was suggesting that purposeful, regular practice and repetition can help people realize untapped potential.
That everyone has the capacity for excellence when they train enough. That includes you.
If you dedicate enough time and repeat your habits often enough, you’ll have a greater chance of achieving what you want.
So, what do you need to practice today?