american-idol-judges-large-0214081.jpgThe basic thesis of “Talent is Overrated,” by Geoff Covin (senior editor at large for Fortune magazine), is that hard work, smart work, count for much more in the long run than so called “natural ability.”

The core concept is that “deliberate practice” separates the highly successful from the “wannabes.”

Deliberate practice is:

– An activity specifically designed to improve performance (must work on key areas, must have clear idea of what key areas are and what efforts will result in meaningful improvement in those areas)

– Frequently requires the help of a teacher/mentor/coach (objective observation and inputs are vital)

– Feedback must be available on an on-going basis (you can’t hit a target you cannot see)

– Repeated often

– Highly mentally demanding (must discipline oneself to continuously observe outcomes, provide real-time feedback to oneself)

– It isn’t much fun (if it were fun, everyone would do it and it would simply be table stakes)

Those who reach the highest levels of their chosen fields make deliberate practice a life-long habit.

Do you want to reach the highest level in your chosen field? Fulfill your destiny?

Are you doing deliberate practice now? If so, how? How can you raise it to another level higher? If not, why not? Is there an area in your life (not necessarily work, career, or financially related) about which you feel enough passion, enough desire, enough motivation to engage in deliberate practice?