September 19, 2017

Persistent Practice is Noble, but Specific Goals Make Things Happen

All of us know people who have talent yet don’t do anything with it. They practice and practice and practice yet never perform, show their art, form a band or start a company. These are some of the same people who constantly go to school yet never really find their niche or true passion.

Performance Anxiety

One of the things that holds back the constant practicers is the their internal fear of not being good enough or smart enough to perform at an expert level. This anxiety is so great that they will hide behind practice to avoid it completely.

In essence, their inner critics have convinced them they will fail.

If we just ignore our inner critics “you’re going to fail” speech long enough to perform, we would find that performance is far more rewarding than practice.

Wandering Generalities or Meaningful Specifics

Zig Ziglar is one of the most eloquent speakers on motivation and leadership I have ever heard. His book See You At the Top is full of profound insights into how to be successful.

One of his most important lessons is setting goals and no quote sums that up better than:

Don’t become a wandering generality. Be a meaningful specific. ― Zig Ziglar

Those who practice too much, without having specific and achievable goals, will wander throughout life and not achieve what they want to achieve. By setting specific, meaningful goals, we make things happen. By making things happen, we can ultimately achieve our desired goals.

When we do this, we break free from wandering and settle on specifics.

Always Train for Something

Now that I’m an Ironman, it’s been a struggle to maintain my training schedule. Sure, I still workout to maintain my fitness level but it’s different. I can feel myself wandering a bit since I have not selected my next fitness goal.

This feeling of wandering makes it challenging to want to get up at 5:00am to swim. I’ll be much better off and happier once I pick a specific goal to achieve.

Ways to Take Action

  1. Set short and long term goals: Always have at least a couple of short and long term goals to focus your practice into actually performing.

  2. Make goals specific and achievable: The goals you choose should be specific and achievable so that you can feel good about practicing to complete them.

  3. Sign up for an event: The best way to turn practice into performance is to sign up for an event. That will make the goal real and something to shoot for.

  4. Tell the world: Once you sign up for an event or performance, tell everyone you know. That way, you will have a support network that can help you achieve your goal and keep you honest.


This aha is from my book, #ENDURANCE tweet Book 01— A Little Nudge to Keep You Going. The book is chalked full of mantras, sayings, words of wisdom and encouragements to help you get past your challenges so you can achieve your goals. If you found this aha inspiring or helpful, then I would appreciate your support by sharing it with a friend and/or purchasing a copy of the book. If you missed any past amplified posts, check out the #ENDURANCE tweet Amplified! page. Thanks for reading and keep enduring!