How do I get better, faster? Secrets to accelerated development!

As an instructor, I get this question a lot, “What else can I do to get better?” The intention of this question is great! It shows a willingness to learn what it takes to develop. The question is asked with the thought there may be something “special” or “secret” that can be done to accelerate development.  Here are a number of  “Secret” ways that you can accelerate your development.

Challenge yourself

Choose a goal that gets you out of your comfort zone. Growth happens when there is difficulty. You know that old saying,  “Trees that are blown in the wind are stronger.” For growth, there has to be some sort of challenge. That could be physical, like lifting weights, kicking the pad longer than you ever have, or even rehab after surgery.  It could be mental, like having figure out a hard math problem or replicating a complicated pattern. Those challenges (or struggles) are part of what we need to grow. So don’t be afraid of hard things. Embrace them, because they are the very things that will help you grow.

Be Consistent

Once you start something consistency is the biggest thing that will help you develop. Keep showing up. The more consistent you are, to more practice you will have. The more practice you have, the more growth you will see. The more growth you see, the motivated you will be.  Don’t listen to thoughts like, “I will just go tomorrow.”, “I can do it later.”, “Man, it so nice out. I am just going to take today off.” If you take unscheduled time off, the harder it is to get back on schedule. Taking unscheduled time off is like getting off at every stop on a train ride, just to get off. You will eventually get to your destination, but it is going to take a lot longer. If you need some time, schedule it and work towards it. Consistency is your friend.

Pay attention to the details

To get be better the devil is in the details. For any development to be made the details are important. When learning something new, there are the “broad strokes” and then there are the “fine lines”.  Both are important. The broad strokes allow for getting the big picture, like making the background of a painting, “Oh, it looks like it goings to be a painting of the ocean.” That is a great start, but to get the full picture, details are required. Waves, fish and other things need to be added to make it interesting and something you will look at for hours.  “Close enough . . .” is not good enough. For growth and development to happen, dig into the detail to see what can be improved. This will make everything more interesting and will motivate development.

Don’t give up.

This kind of goes back to consistency. There will always be things that are out of our control. Potholes and hiccups will happen. Count on it! When they happen, don’t let them hold you back forever. It is just a setback.  Look for a way to make a change and keep going forward.  Take a detour of a sort. It may take more time and in a different way than expected, but you will still be growing and developing. If it is important, there is a way to keep moving forward. We just have to find it.

So that’s it. Hopefully, these “Special Secrets” will help you accelerate your development in class and in any part of life