by Dale Shumaker
Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin dispels the belief that talent is something we're born with. In reviewing hundreds of studies, Colvin also found out experience and hard work don't create talent. Intelligence is also not a factor. The factor that says most about great performance is deliberate practice. Deliberate practice is hard.
It requires practice in areas needing improvement and skills most important to where we want to excel. Deliberate practice is learning how to train effectively. What's crucial is we understand where extraordinary performance comes from. Inherent talent is a myth, talent is deliberately developed.
So these notions have little to do with performance excellence (talent). It's not experience, specific innate abilities or general abilities and memory.
Talent is developed through deliberate practice. Deliberate practice has the elements of an activity designed specifically to improve performance, often with a teacher's help, repeated a lot, with continuous feedback on results, demanding mentally and in most cases it is not much fun. Deliberate practice can be hard, that's why most people won't do it. But those who do are achievers of superior talent.
How does deliberate practice change a person? With deliberate practice our perception of what will happen in the future expands. We see, hear and feel more. It causes us to pick up on more telling signs than others and grasp more of what future events will be. It enhances our abilities to know more even when we are seeing less, and increasing out ability be more refined in our discrimination than average performers. Although actual knowledge may not exceed others, we find that reasoning and problem solving abilities perform at more advanced levels. In one's field of deliberate practice a person's memory in their field is keener, more precise in detail.
Through deliberate practice, before, during, and after work, great performers possess large, highly developed, intricate mental models of their domains. A rich mental model contributes to great performance. Deliberate practice in your field or specialty will create this rich mental model in you. A rich mental model contributes to great performance in three ways. A framework is formed on which to hang your growing knowledge, it helps you to distinguish relevant information from irrelevant information, and it enables you to project what will happen next. Great performance is built through activities that are specifically designed to improve particular skills. Teachers and coaches are vitally useful in helping you design these activities. People develop best through inspiration, not authority.
Deliberate practice can advance the young to achieve in a field faster and sooner than most, as well as keep the aging person at top performance into old age. Young children can begin acquiring skills with deliberate practice and become an advanced performer early in life and at more greatly advanced levels through life. Aging people can continue to advance their skills into old age when deliberate practice is part of their lives in their chosen field. Deliberate practice makes you never too young or never too old to be a great performer. From the 2 year old to the 80 year old, deliberate practice will enhance life performance.
Deliberate practice is hard. It requires us to do things we can't quite do easily. So a person must work at it at first, stick with the frustrations of slow advances, until the deliberate practice begins taking effect. What drives a person to go through the unpleasant phases of deliberate practice? The difference is the intrinsic perspective.
What are the internal reasons that drive a person to practice for what they want? What drives them to deliberately work at it more than others? The difference is an internal conviction of believing we can and will, if we set all we got to do it. Deliberate practice keeps awakening new ideas, innovations, fresh approaches to achieve a desired personal goal. The more we practice, the better we get. The more we believe and see in our mind what we are certain will happen, we can accomplish.
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The Great Commission by Jesus exhorted everyone to go and make disciples. A disciple is a person deliberately developed to be very skilled in doing the assignment given them. They were disciplined in the work they did. It required deliberate practice.
Here's the commission Jesus issued.
“I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” ( Matthew 28:18-28, NLT)
To do this, the Apostle Paul said,
"Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." (Romans 12: 2, NLT)
How to do this is explained by God as directed to Joshua. If you do this you will succeed in all you do. "Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do." (Joshua 1:8. NLT)
What does it take to renew the mind, to change how we think, and be transformed. We must meditate on the Scriptures morning, noon, and night. This takes deliberate activity. If an hour or two a morning, an hour mid-day, and a few hours at night were spent to renew ourselves for the job at hand, we would then be competent, effective disciples. That is, disciplined to do the work set before us. When we use teachers with a strategic plan for us to follow, it increases our effectiveness as disciples.
Try this. Take 30 days and spend an hour in the morning, an hour at noon and a few hours at night to read the Scriptures of the Bible. It takes about 5 hours a day of deliverable practice for star athletes to perform at top performance levels. No less would be needed for us to achieve top performance results Spiritually.
We, as disciples, are called to be completely transformed in mind, a Spiritual people, completing God's mission in our lives requires the same.
Here's a study process to consider to follow for 30 days. After 30 days, you will see the results it brings to you. The idea is to read as much as you can in 30 days. If you don't get what it is saying, keep going. It will create a track in your subconscious for the next time. Then, when you read the same Scriptures again, they come more alive to you.
Start with the Gospel of John, and then read Romans.
Move on to Matthew and follow with Paul's letters to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. (You could save Timothy, Titus and for later.)
Continue with the Gospel of Mark and then read the Apostle's letters of James, Peter (1 and 2) and John (1, 2, 3).
Go back to Luke and then read Corinthians 1 and 2.
Acts gives you the history of the New Testament and Hebrews the foundations for the transition from the Old to the New Testament's transformational power. (You could also save Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus, Philemon and Jude for later.) If you devote morning, noon and night for 30 straight days to a deliberate plan, you will have laid the ground work to renew the mind and be transformed. Read as much as you can for 30 days, and create a deliberate plan that you will commit to follow. Later on you will want to go back to each Gospel, etc. and read, meditate, ponder what they say. This is a soaking method.
In an Army of Ordinary People, Felicity Dale explains what the Great commission means for us. As you will see, each part requires deliberate practice to fulfill it. According to Dale, the great commission is not a "take it or leave it" option for Christians. Many live in self-made Christian ghettos, never developing relationships with unbelievers. We somehow think friendships with people in the world will somehow contaminate us. People see right through us when we make them "projects" rather than authentic relationships. We need a healthy DNA for reproducing the Kingdom life around us.
It takes Divine truth in knowing God, the Scriptures and Jesus in us; nurturing relationships and responding to needs of those we meet. And be apostles that God is sending as His representatives to make disciples of all places we are part of and go to. The great commission has four directives:
1. We are to go. Go where people are and create connections with them.
2. We are to make disciples of all nations. A nation could be a city, a professional network or association, a club or recreational group.
3. Baptize new believers. To be so saturated with the Spirit of God that it naturally spills off on others. Wherever we go, we sprinkle others with His love and joy. Do the 30 day Bible reading saturation plan... 1 hour morning, noon, and evening for 30 days straight. This is a mental renewal, baptism.
4.We are to teach others. As we are taught to be trained, equipped, competent disciples, we are to share what we know with others and help them grow to be competent disciples too.
We have good news for a wonderful lifestyle. Learn the lifestyle of Spirit and share it freely with others. That's making disciples.