Deliberate Practice on the Way to Being Great

Casey Stoner

In my last post, provocatively titled How the Motorcycle Gods Ride, we examined Rossi's control, as demonstrated in that fascinating photo, as something beyond the levels most of us mere mortals can achieve. In the comments, SteveH, noted the 10,000 hour rule, made popular recently by Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers, in which Gladwell pointed out example after example of superior performance in a wide range of fields that was preceded by at least 10,000 hours of practice. (That works out to 20 hours per week for 10 years!) Those overnight sensations are nothing of the sort.

Putting in the time, lots and lots of time, is essential to becoming great, and someone like a Rossi or Casey Stoner has obviously spent an enormous amount of time on track from his earliest years, practicing everything it takes to control his motorcycle in ways the vast majority of riders can only dream of doing, but some riders think they've been riding for a long time so they must also be great riders, after all, with 30 years on the road, you're something special, right? Well, not so much. Better than a novice, absolutely, but really great? No, and here's why, it hasn't been deliberate practice, if you haven't been doing what it takes to get better, you're just going through the motions and doing what you already know how to do, you've attained an "acceptable level" of performance.

Most individuals who start as active professionals or as beginners in a domain change their behavior and increase their performance for a limited time until they reach an acceptable level. Beyond this point, however, further improvements appear to be unpredictable and the number of years of work and leisure experience in a domain is a poor predictor of attained performance (Ericsson & Lehmann, 1996). Hence, continued improvements (changes) in achievement are not automatic consequences of more experience and in those domains where performance consistently increases aspiring experts seek out particular kinds of experience, that is deliberate practice (Ericsson, Krampe & Tesch-Römer, 1993)--activities designed, typically by a teacher, for the sole purpose of effectively improving specific aspects of an individual's performance.

It's natural to gradually learn how to do something if we do it often enough, but it's also natural to enjoy doing what we've mastered and that's a danger to getting better. Once you know how to do something, it's a common mistake to do the part you enjoy over and over and avoid taking on those difficult bits you haven't yet figured out, while the person on his way to greatness is busy adding to his skills and working on the hard stuff, stumbling, learning and correcting until that skill, too, is among the ones he's mastered. While you think you're getting better, he's actually getting great and the longer the time, the greater the gap. Those 10,000 hours have to be focused on the hard things, not just repeating forever the things you already know.

The great riders in MotoGP are still fairly young as adults go, because reaction time and the ability to get into and remain in great physical condition is a requirement, but they're also older than the skilled rising stars of the lower classes that feed the talent to the highest class because there's no way to get there without the time and practice necessary to develop the skill. It's also why you can't start late and expect to climb to the top, time is against you.

Valentino Rossi

This doesn't just apply to riders, either. Great mechanics, engineers, designers, fabricators, they all take time, in fact, any field in life you decide to pursue with the intention of becoming one of the best is open to you, but the price is one of time and deliberate practice, with major quantities of both required, and that deliberate practice isn't going to be all fun and games, in fact, a lot of it will be difficult and unpleasant. Stick with it, do it long enough, be willing to admit what you don't know so you can learn and get better and, eventually, there may be a slot with your name on it at the very top.

Comments

  1. GuitarSlinger says

    Like to know something else the top riders in many of the M/C road racing series are doing to fine tune their fitness and riding skills ?

    Road Bicycling and Bicycle Road Racing . You should read what they have to say about why they’re doing it as well as the benefits they’re gaining over their rivals who do not .

    Both Peloton and ProCycling magazines have done great articles on this rapidly growing cross over trend from a bicycling point of view and I think it’d be great to get the M/C angle now as well . Hint Hint Paul ;-)

    • Cowpieapex says

      Slinger let me second that.
      As a 50 something 220 pound rider, the leg strength needed to competently control a modern sport bike near its potential limits can be developed in 10% of the time required by motorcycling alone with some bicycle training. This leg strength also greatly extends my touring endurance.

  2. says

    I met a guy while in high school on a Saturday morning. I had ridden my 10 speed down to a little chopper shop in town. Here is a guy a year older than me, 14, doing doughnuts in the parking lot with a Honda stepthru trail bike. Not too unusual sept he had his right arm in a cast and it was in a sling. In later years he was clocked at 108 mph in the rain at the Ilse of Mann on knobbie tires. Practice makes perfect, but it’s hard to beat God given talent.

    • Paul Crowe - "The Kneeslider" says

      Talent makes a difference, but sometimes not as much as you might think. Given two individuals who have put in equivalent practice, greater talent has the edge, in a recent study as much as 7 percent. However, the first 93 percent is still there for the taking. If you drive your performance up to its limits through practice, you may have already passed not only those who practiced less, but even the more talented who haven’t done enough. Unless you’re seriously in competition to be the world’s best in your field, practice may get you past most everyone else.

      The point is, it’s hard, very hard, to be the best at anything and those who give up too quickly complaining the world is against them, or that they lack sufficient talent or they’ve encountered some other sort of bias keeping them from achieving their dreams, in many cases have simply given up before putting in the necessary effort. The real shame is that they’ve sold themselves short, they’ve convinced themselves they couldn’t do what they really are capable of. It’s certainly not guaranteed, but with long and dedicated practice, it’s possible.

    • john says

      I knew a guy who was always horsing around like that and always getting a cracked bone. He ended up with one very serious broken bone…in his lower back. Never walked again. I knew another guy who was just like him but was married. He had an operation after a severe accident that left him with a few fused vertebra in his back a an inch shorter in height. His wife made him give it all up. If not for his wife, he probably would’ve kept it up until death or disability. A third guy I knew, also of the same type, ended up losing one foot. Never rode again. A fourth guy I knew, slightly collided with a speed limit sign post with his right elbow at high speed. Shattered his arm bones. They saved his arm but it hangs limp, shriveled and useless. He never rode again. And finally, a fifth guy of the same personality type, suffered a head injury. His skull now has a sizable metal plate in it and several skin grafts were necessary to cover the top of his head with flesh. He has memory problems now and not only does he not ride, he can no longer have a driver’s license or hold a job. Permanent disability. All of these guys were talented, more than I ever was, and were adrenaline junkies. They were all above average intelligence. They just did not know how to control their addiction to speed. I myself have had a broken vertebra in my neck twice. The first time I fractured my neck I never knew about it until I had an MRI for the second fracture and they found the old fracture that had healed up. I still ride but I am no longer a speed freak nor am I impressed by speed freaks any longer. I do not feel comfortable glamorizing speed freak behavior either.

      • says

        Doesn’t mean we should all drive 30mph on the freeway or spend the rest of our lives hiding in our basement. I think don’t Paul is suggesting we all go out and practice our roadracing skills around the neighborhood or jump cars at the grocery store. Maybe we could take a class at a race track taught by people that want to have fun and do it safely.

        I know a guy who’s now in a wheelchair as the result of crashing his truck on the freeway driving home from work. He wasn’t a speeder. I know people that have been taken out by drunk drivers. They still get in their car and drive though. The older you get, the more people you will have known that haven’t gotten screwed up in all sorts of different ways. Cars, bikes, hiking, falling off of ladders putting up Christmas lights, snake bites, shark attacks, tetanus, I knew 2 people killed by lightning. What do you do? Buy a Goldwing and strap a teddy bear on the luggage rack?

        Paul is suggesting that perhaps instead of riding around mindlessly, maybe try to really take your skills up a notch.

        • john says

          Uhh, Mule, I was replying to Skizick, not Paul. By the way, I *AM* old. I’ve been riding since 1980. Go ahead and click “reply” to Skizick and see where this website puts your comment.

          • says

            I was replying to you not Skizick. I’m old too. I started riding in 1969 for whatever that’s worth. Some people are content to live life without risk, others crave risk and periodically suffer the consequences. Just the way it is. The beauty of motorcycling is…if somebody doesn’t understand that, you can say, “Adios.” And then just ride off and enjoy yourself in your own personal way. May not be P.C., but who cares? Screw them if they don’t get it. Tour your own tour or ride your own race or ride your own commute.

            • john says

              Don’t forget what happened to Indian Larry. I am not going to end up like that. There comes a point in everyone’s life when they need to recognize their limitations are being adjusted down with their increasing age. Look at Mohammed Ali if you want to see what happens to people who refuse to make adjustments. I am not going to end up like him either. I intend to continue leisurely putting along well into my 80s if they don’t outlaw motorcycles before then.

  3. Steve says

    I have a friend who races in a pro 600 class. He’s been doing it for years. When we ride on the street he carves turns with what appears to be out right fearlessness. Fearless of some pebbles, or sand. Fearless of everything. He just flys in and out of them. I don’t know if hes an idiot, or if all that racing and practicing makes him approach a turn a certain way no matter what the circumstances. Hes been down before as I suppose most professional racers have from time to time. He’s wrecked bikes on the track and been hit by other racers. I’ll tell you one thing if I didn’t love my bike so much I would love to go down a few times to learn how to ride like that. Its pretty impressive.

  4. fred with two, finally. says

    Gotta tell ya, I’m 58 an’ when we were riding in the dirt we generally had 3 inches of travel, front an’ rear, because we were riding old small c.c. bikes meant for the street, living large was a 305 scrambler. No one I knew had any parental support, in fact I had to keep my mini bike at a friends house until I decided to have “the confrontation.” Later years I got into racing around n round and fell in love with drags,too. My point is this: I got it out of my system when I was younger and I no longer want to go faster than I want to. I’ve never driven a 150 hp bike, I’m sure it would be a gass but the odds if t-boning some cage increase expotentially as your speed goes up. Gimmie a track, full leathers and some room to breathe and I would have fun, and it better have sliders on it . Now, I want to survive to ride easy.Enjoy, -FRED-

  5. Sakai says

    if you’re going to try, go all the way.
    otherwise, don’t even start.

    if you’re going to try, go all the way.
    this could mean losing girlfriends,
    wives, relatives, jobs
    and maybe your mind.

    go all the way.
    it could mean not eating for 3 or 4 days.
    it could mean freezing on a park bench.
    it could mean jail,
    it could mean derision,
    mockery, isolation.
    isolation is the gift,
    all the others are a test of your endurance,
    of how much you really want to do it.
    and you’ll do it
    despite rejection and the worst odds
    and it will be better than anything else
    you can imagine.

    if you’re going to try, go all the way.
    there is no other feeling like that.
    you will be alone with the gods
    and the nights will flame with fire.

    do it, do it, do it.
    do it.

    all the way
    all the way.

    you will ride life straight to perfect laughter,
    it’s the only good fight there is.

    (Buk the man)

  6. mARK says

    If you’re going to marry give it all of you’ve got, don’t use someone for sex, and support, then drive them away on your march to motorcycle greatness.

  7. woodie says

    When I was 17 I spent my days ragging the bits off my bikes, riding on square tyres, crap brakes and adrenaline, going everywhere as fast as the little beasties would let me. I have wire in my spine and a pin through my knee. I’d probably have ended up wrapped around a lamp post if I hadn’t been persuaded to give up bikes.
    A few years later I worked as a courier rider where I found I couldn’t get to the calls as quick as some of the younger boys, they just rode better, faster, madder because of self preservation. It made me realise that although I loved my bikes and speed I was never going to be a Race God.
    I would get the job done and I realised I could get there without the risks, and without the near deaths only a few moments later.
    I returned to biking yet again a few years ago and found I had lost quite a bit of the skill and instincts I’d built up. Much has come back but I need to hone these skills with practice, deliberate practice as the article mentions. I use specific corners to try things, counter steering, foot pressure in a turn and find I now run faster and smoother through turns I took very tentatively 5 years ago. This transits to other turns I don’t know so well and makes me ride faster and smoother all through positive and deliberate practice
    I don’t ride enough to progress faster or to a greater degree but I do realise if I am practising something it has to be useful and of a benefit to me.

  8. todd says

    Commuting is why I ride. I do not have an adrenaline response to high speeds, risk does nothing for me. I have nothing to prove and my job does not depend on me getting to the finish line first.

    I’ve been on group rides where I’m right up near the front of the pack but I have no problem moving over for the guy behind me who is riding like he’s pushing his skills – nor do I feel like I have a small peni5 if the gap between me and the front runner is getting larger.

    If I was a professional racer (or even an amateur one) I would strive to improve my skills at racing – but I am not a racer and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    -todd

  9. Rob says

    This article has hit home with me as a rider trying to improve my craft on the track. Keep the insightful stuff coming. No sure what the above “speed” chat is about, the article is about working to better your skill as a rider.

  10. gebeme says

    With the exception of Sakai, I think everyone completely missed the point of the article. Paul is not suggesting that everyone of us needs to go out right now and start bombing around corners until we are super awesome bikers. No one cares that a guy you knew a few years ago, had a wreck on a bike one time. No one cares that you used to ride fast but don’t anymore because you got hurt/married/old. This isn’t about motorcycles at all.
    The article is about greatness. It’s about the fact that if you want to be truly great at something (motorcycle riding, sports, stock market investing, teaching high school English, etc.) it requires real commitment, determination and a willingness to sacrifice other parts of your life.
    I can run at an acceptable level of performance now. But if I want to run an ultra-marathon, I am going to have to start putting in some really serious miles every week. And I can’t quit just because “‘I know a guy who used to run but then he rolled his ankle and now he walks with a limp”.

    • woodie says

      You obviously didn’t READ my reply.

      The articles underlying message was that to simply repeat practice over and over is pointless, 10,000 hours of the same mistake doesn’t improve your technique.

      I use what little riding time I can fit in to improve by using the know as a practice point to improve my techniques for when I come across the unknown.

      I am bolted together after bouncing of cars/concrete and or tarmac (Ahsphalt?) BUt that doesn’t stop me wanting to ride nor wanting to improve.

      All I can see from Sakhai’s somewhat cryptic post is if you don’t open the throttle to 11 you aren’t riding properly, if you are not prepared to sacrifice everything for your goal you are some kind of whimp out.

      Life is a many layered thing and biking, to me is only one layer, I treat every ride as an experience to savour and will for the forseeable future (which i intend to be until they steal the stabilisers off my 3 wheeled goldwing and tip me in the hole). I am slower than many “balls out riders,” my technique is not as good as it used to be when I was younger asi have had several lapses from riding but I do use the mental attitude of “Deliberate Practice” as and when I can.

  11. SteveH. says

    To follow up on my comments of earlier…
    What many comments mention arethe injuries suffered as a result of speed and negative environmental developments. Yes, we mere mortals have all too often ridden at race pace on the open road and had the uncontrolled environment bring us pretty severe pain and lasting injuries. The moto racing gods have also suffered – even though their environment and equipment is state-of-the-art to protect them (remember, these are pretty expensive people-they have great value to their sponsors and Dorna). To see some of the crashes – even Rossi! – I just cringe. This has always been a part of the learning curve for these guys (and now some girls). Do you think Vale has any idea how many times he has crashed? Probably not.
    Unlike many people in “The Outliers”, motorcycle racers and other speed disciplines take great physical risk, even to death, to practice their passion. The track is the best and only place for serious speed to be pursued. But, sometimes the wick gets twisted when the road opens up and well, you know the rest…

  12. Leo Speedwagon says

    Family involvement and support is th e most important at the beginning without them it is virtually impossible – whether your dad’s name is Schumacher or Rossi or Woods all the top names had excellent family support and infrastructure (money).

    • Rob says

      I am not a Casey Stoner fan but he and his family are a great example of family commitment to getting child to a goal.

  13. Gasser says

    Yo dude’s, now being 71 yr old and still on the freak’s gas both off road and street de-treading stacks of tires, this topic hits top dead center for me.

    First off let me say “fear is the master intellectual fraud” and wife/girlfriend/parents/relatives/friends can fear stifle a motorcycle riding/racer into a pink panty rider.

    Being single (did the expensive wife/girl friend thing) I started riding/racing Off Road & MX at 44 yr old and found it real natural to go faster than the crash, this I learned from participating in 11 Mauna Kea 200 two day world class time keeping Enduros on the Big Island of Hawaii and Kauai 40 mile Hare & Hounds, plus lots local MX races.

    My now one of many street bikes is an 08 Honda CBR 1000RR, plus a 09 KTM 200 smoker thats a street legal tricked out dual purpose bike that I use for cutting the gnarly 100 miles of world class trails for the Mauna Kea 200 race course in the Upper Waikia Rain Forest, and laying out the 67 miles of dusty nasty lava rock trail around Mauna Kea Volcano from 6,000 to 12,500 ft elev. this next Memorial Day weekend May 26 & 27th will be the Rock island Riders 37th annual event…Go to> mk200.com to down load entry form.

    I have thousands of “go or blow” hours added up taking logical calculated chances…if you want/need to go faster than the crash, the most important thing you can do is have a perfectly setup bike with suspension “valved” to your speed/terrain and “sprung” to your weight…believe me men/women this will let you pull off some heroic shit when winning counts…ya it cost a lot, but much cheaper than hospital bill’s in the long run…Been there done that.

    I also have a 100 mile “Isle of Man type” volcano Mt loop from sea level to 9,000 ft elev. that I whack the snot out of my CBR on, I give the CBR no mercy only to keep the oil changed/fresh tires/brake pad’s for the many sweeping buck 20, 40, 60 curves…I let no one ride with me because I don’t want to have wait for anyone or see the carnage from a inexperienced rider with an improperly setup bike second guessing the 100+ mph curves, been there seen that…theres no substitute for thousands of hours of hands push pulling the bars and a proper bike setup.

    Yes I have full race leathers, heads up radar/laser detector, plus all the other trick stuff to satisfy my Isle of Man urges as I do my other 250 to 300 mile gas pit stop only loops around the Big Island twice a weak or more, just because I can, being retired…and now that the Fukushima Diichi Nuclear accident is an “any moment” potential civilization exterminator so I now “WFO go or blow MF” ride off road/street like there will be no tomorrow…ride fast today die tomorrow I say to all my MC friends…remember “Racing/riding reality goes at the speed of choice”

    ~Go no fear fast, take no fear chances~~~~Gasser~

  14. fast eddie says

    Gasser , your ego is gonna end . some day you will wish you just enjoyed your self .
    It most likely will come when you meet the racing gods . Untill then your just a wanna be . Just like the
    90% of motorcycle people in general . You wanna race go to a race track . You wanna go to the next level
    drive your supervalved and sprung zip splat into a bridge abutment. A great rider makes it home . FE

  15. Paul Crowe - "The Kneeslider" says

    A few of you correctly note, this post isn’t about going out and riding crazy fast on the street or even about motorcycle racing in general, it’s about what it takes to be at the top of any field you choose to pursue. Racing is merely an example. It’s another way of approaching the ideas I’ve been writing about here for years; learning, doing and constantly getting better.

    The primary point I’m focusing on is that excellence isn’t an accident, it isn’t the result of just doin’ the time, it’s about deciding to get better, recognizing where you need to improve and deliberately practicing in those areas where you’re weak so you can learn and master new skills. One solid hour of focused practice on something you find difficult may not be fun, but the payoff is significant, especially when so few are willing to do it.

    • Leo Speedwagon says

      Some say a good coach/mentor who can see the mistakes and has the vision is the answer, you must want to do it and be able to take the criticism.

    • Gasser says

      Shootzz Paul, sorry for the street race hype benchracing, but hey, I ride all the time, to and past the limit and forgot to mention that I learned how to ride my liter street bikes from reading/studying Keith Code’s Twist of The Wrist one page at a time sitting on the toilet, wiping my okoli, zipping up the leathers, go out on the tarmac and practice those techniques into real time, working my way to the last page, this took a good year of toilet time, slowly working my way up to 100+ mph conners with a real nice long buck 80 sweeper when the conditions and tires are right.

      Stunt riding is another way of learning the limits of your center of gravity that translates into a safer street rider because it allows you to react quickly to avoid anything that pop’s up on the street.

      fast eddie is right, 90% of motorcycle riders have the potential to splat into a bridge abutment, that’s because they don’t have any MX/off road/stunting experience and their minds are off wondering thinking about the wife/kid’s, girl friend/tattoos, Harley repair payment or any of the thousands of distracting enslavements when they should be treating the highway like it’s Willow Springs track day…nuff said.

      I like to come to Kneeslider because the hand made motorcycles/motors here just blow my mind to see the innovation and workmanship that comes out of lath and plaster garages with a single 60 watt bulb hanging from cobweb rafters and also some clean well setup shops, I fall somewhere in-between.

      I build and setup bullet proof off road motorcycles for my racing friends, having one of a kind innovations that allow a rider to bust through the forest/jungle bush, slip over big logs and bolders, ford seat deep muddy water and blast through the nasty a’a’ lava rocks and rip over Hawaii’s undulating Pahoehoe lava fields.

      I also have energy demanding nasty slippery root infested jungle trails right out of my back yard that are world class pro rider designed, few will ride them, I got to put on a BBQ ride to get’em out there…we have good benchracing laughter fun when we get back…isn’t that what motorcycle riding/racing is all about?

      ~Go faster than the crash~~~~~~Gasser

      • Sid says

        160, 180…those numbers are not for the street no matter the skill or ego, dude. One dumb move by another Innocent motorist and lights out. Maybe not for you, but them. Then, all motorcyclists pay big time (way more than if you met your maker).

  16. marc says

    geezz getting kind of serious , look plain and simple do what u love and do it to the best of your ability,no excuses. i got bit by the bike bug 12 years ago ,i am 47.have tried to ride every day these last 12 years ,get at least 360 days a year,no kidding, feel that my road skills are pretty good. but damn put me in a car,look out!
    USE IT OR LOSE IT LOL

  17. B50 Jim says

    I understand what Paul is saying — we don’t need to ride like crazy men on the street to become better riders. Simply practicing at being a good street rider pays big dividends. I have found that riding just a little bit above my comfort zone helps me focus and learn what the bike will do. For example, there’s an exit ramp on my daily commute, and I decided to push my B50 harder into the bend, lean a little more, add some throttle when it feels as if it will lean too far, and very shortly I found myself taking that exit comfortably at speeds I previously hadn’t thought possible. Doing the same thing on a left-hand turn quickly showed me how far I could lean before the center stand scraped the roadway. Doing things like swerving around manholes and flicking through s-curves — all at legal speeds, imparts muscle memory and reflexes that could save you skin when a situation arises and you already know what to do and respond. I have avoided cars that suddenly turned into my path by using the modest skills I had learned by practicing better riding under safe circumstances. Anyone can do it. For graduate-level practice, sign on for a riding school and track days where you can hone your skills and develop reflexes under controlled conditions where you can slide out and not worry about ending up under a truck. The main thing is — practice! Push it a little harder each time. Concert pianists don’t sit around playing scales; they tackle Chopin’s more difficult passages and perfect their technique. They never quit practicing. It’s a lifelong pursuit. I’m not saying I could ride anywhere near Rossi’s level, but pushing myself and my bike a little beyond comfortable levels, again and again, has made me a better and safer rider. Don’t wait for an emergency to learn what you and your bike can do; you might avoid crashing by dumb luck but more likely you’ll be flat on the pavement. Unlike boring violin lessons, practicing on your bike is fun!

  18. Cowpieapex says

    Not to be morose, but I always emphasize the need for motorcyclists in particular to take a Zen like approach to this activity. From the selection of a machine suitable in design and condition to maintenance and modification plus failure analysis of (hopefully others) errors as well as the study and practice of riding principals.
    When someone hits me with the old saw, “I would like to get a motorcycle but they’re so dangerous” I promptly reply that yes indeed it’s a pursuit that could likely take your life if not taken with the utmost sobriety.
    In a world of so much mediocrity this sport is one that will demand, and therefore can deliver, excellence.

  19. B50 Jim says

    When someone says “motorcycles are dangerous” I reply “motorcycles are NOT dangerous; crashing is dangerous, and crashes usually are caused by motorists not paying attention”.

    Our mandate as riders is to learn the subtle signs when cage drivers are turning in front of us and take evasive action. Or to ride out of other situations, deal with gravel, antifreeze and junk; watch our backs, etc. That’s where practice comes in, perfecting swerving maneuvers under safe conditions until they are second nature and help us avoid crashing on the mean streets.

    • says

      Check the stats. I believe that solo vehicle accidents make up the bulk of motorcycle crashes. I know because I’ve added a couple dozen to the pile.

  20. says

    Not as much as you might think. Perhaps 7 percent is the right number but I would think that would indicate that out of 100 folks that try to be successful sliders, 93 will show promise with lots of practice and 7 of them will find a natutal affinity for it. It’s the basic difference between a skilled technition in a craft and an artist there in.

  21. says

    Great article.

    We do interviews on the show with Skills building instructors and we do it often because we can all increase our riding skills. Cycle cops work on their skills every time they get on their bikes. It begins with doing emergency stopping start out slow and work up to 40 mph emergency stops. Do it often and on a street without a lot of traffic.

    As for getting good at anything yes it takes a lot of time. No over night success as you pointed out. Why many businesses go out of business is they don’t have enough money to sustain them long enough untill they become very proficient at what they are trying to do. Thus they fail. As for relationships it takes lots of work and in many cases people tire of working on the relationship and give up just before they could have made it become something wonderful.

    I remember when I used to ski. If I didn’t take a spill or two while sking, I wasn’t trying something new or working to build my skills. Now I don’t mean we should take a spill on our bikes just to increase our learing skills, but in anything you wish to be great at or do well at – pushing yourself is a good thing.

    Last thought – most things we do in life doesn’t require 10,000 hours to enjoy or do well. Not everyone wants to be a Tiger Woods, Rossi or an expert in anything. Most of us will settle for being good or very good at what we do and limit our exclence for a handfull of things we hold near and dear.