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What Are You Doing Wrong?

"You don't know how to write. Go back to what you're good at." That's the PG version of what someone replied and told me last week. I wanted to be angry and offended, but then I realized that they were right about one thing: I definitely had room for improvement in my writing.

In your job, in your business, in your relationships, your hobbies, in your emotional health, you're doing something wrong. Do you know what it is? If not, it's time to figure it out and get better at it.

This is the process known as deliberate practice. It's looking in-depth at what you're doing, finding out what's wrong, and then trying again, implementing the changes you need to make.

You can look at any mistake, any failure, any imperfection as one of two things: proof of your inadequacies, or as a place to improve. Your mistakes can hold you back, or give you a hill to climb, with a great view every step of the way.

But if you are looking at your faults as something to improve, then it is critical that you are actually doing what is necessary to find the deficiencies in your performance and fix them.


Photos by Derek Howard

Deliberate practice is not just saying "I'm not perfect, oh well". Deliberate practice is a matter of finding problems and improving them.

That means really examining what you're doing, and holding nothing sacred. Asking friends, seeking out experts, reading books, and making a real effort to improve.

You can apply this to programming, business, friendships, romantic relationships, or your own emotional health. No matter what it is, you can use deliberate practice to improve it.

There's an old saying in programming that's a great variation of a different old saying: "If you're not embarrassed at the code you wrote 6 months ago, then you're not improving enough."

What are you doing wrong? Are you willing to put in the work?

Happy coding!

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