Why Practice Actually Makes Perfect: How to Rewire Your Brain for Better Performance

Growing up, we all heard the expression “practice makes perfect” from our high school coach/music teacher. Then Malcolm Gladwell went on to popularize the research that expertise developed over “10,000 hours” of deliberate practice. But how does that really work?

In this post, I’ll share what science knows about learning and how special type of brain tissue called myelin, plays a key role in helping us acquire and master skills.

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Learning Rewires Our Brains

When we learn a new skill, whether it’s programming in Ruby on Rails, providing customer support over the phone, playing chess, or doing a cartwheel, we are changing how your brain is wired on a deep level. Science has shown us that the brain is incredibly plastic – meaning it does not “harden” at age 25 and stay solid for the rest of our lives. While certain things, especially language, are more easily learned by children than adults, we have plenty of evidence that even older adults can see real transformations in their neurocircuitry. [1]

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What the Research on Habit Formation Reveals About our Willpower and Overall Well-Being

This is guestpost by Jason Shen, an entrepreneur, blogger, and athlete, more about Jason at the end of the post.

In the past decade, there has been a lot of fascinating academic research conducted around habit formation and willpower. By examining things like how smokers quit, why student perform well and how New Year’s resolvers stay on track, researchers are starting to piece together the answers to how we can build lasting habits and improve our ability to resist temptation.

One surprising result is this: to improve your overall well-being, start a new regular habit. Pretty much any positive habit will do.

For details on how this really worked, I have always been extremely curious. I’ve dug in deep into the research and how to apply it to find out more:

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