17 January 2012

Link of the day: "Advice on Getting Better from an Accomplished Piano Player"

I follow Cal Newport's blog, whose theme is something along the lines of how to live your life, so that you are creative and get a lot of (real) work done while staying sane.

I liked one of his recent posts where he discussed a piano player's strategy to becoming better. The strategies of "Avoid Flow. Do What Does Not Come Easy; To Master a Skill, Master Something Harder; Systematically Eliminate Weakness" -- they all fit the general strategy of deliberate practice, which I've discussed in the past here and here.

The last strategy "Create Beauty, Don’t Avoid Ugliness" fits into the general strategy of visualization. In sports, coaches talk a lot about visualizing your success or visualizing your strategies to deal with a particular situation. For example, if you are a forward playing ice hockey, you could visualizing the three different moves you'd use to score a goal on a breakaway. But visualization can be extended to so many other situations beyond athletic and musical performance. When you get up in the morning, you can script your day and visualize how you want things to go.

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