Why Some People Never Get Better At What They Do

It’s not because they are mentally retarded or something.

It has nothing to do with organic brain pathology.

Far from it.

A lot of individuals don’t do well because they don’t know how to design what they do in such a way that enhances their performance.

Practice and rehearsals are supposed to make us better at a craft or skill.

But this is not always the case.

In fact, most of the time, this is not the case.

Rather, you tend to see individuals who have been in the game only just struggling to get by.

And sometimes it surprises you to find out that these guys have been in the game for a long time.

Does it mean they are not cut out for it?

Usually not the case.

In some situations, that could be the case but most of the time it isn’t.

Activities that improve performance have one basic characteristic:

They have a well-defined process leading to outcomes that can be measured against some ideal.

The process (or procedure), as well as objectively measuring outcomes against the ideal, is what improves performance.

That’s what deliberate practice is all about:

The kind of practice that improves performance.

Activities don’t just improve performance; they are DESIGNED to improve performance.

Only when you take the effort to design your procedure for achieving an outcome can your performance be enhanced.

People who leave the design to what it is, remain mediocre and never get better at what they do.

And they may never get better until they design a procedure that brings deliberate practice into the game.

This is what makes the difference between world-class and average performers.

Deliberate practice.

Deliberate practice also called purposeful practice is what it takes to get better in whatsoever one does.

It simply involves giving structure to an activity, setting an expectation and measuring outcomes against the expectation.

Let’s me make it more tangible:

Imagine you are an aspiring self -development coach and you want to get better at public speaking.

Approaching it this way will be of great help:

Divide your talk into three potions:

  1. What you want to teach;
  2. Why it’s important to your clients; and
  3. How to have results following your step-by-step instructions.

And then set your expectations.

If you out of 12, about 7 to 8 get the result you promise, instead of the usual 2 to 3, It means you are getting better at getting your message clear and convincing.

That’s good progress!

And if you repeat the process again and again and the numbers keep going up, that means you are getting a lot better at it.

Each session is making you better than you were during the previous.

That’s what deliberate practice does to performance _ it progressively enhances it.

What do you want to get better at?

  • Start by giving it a structure or a step -by- step process to achieving outcomes.
  • Next, set expectations. Define what success means for you on completion of the process.
  • And then compare your outcomes with your expectations before you started.

By objectively measuring your outcomes and tweaking your tactics to match your set ideals, you will start noticing some progress in your performance.


Some people don’t get better at what they do essentially because they ‘ve not designed the activity to facilitate deliberate practice.

Just anyone can get better by designing his routine to incorporate deliberate practice by :

  • Dividing an activity into step by step process( giving it a structure)
  • Setting expectations and
  • Measuring outcomes with expectation.


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