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第十八周 How to Get Better at What We Do 张宁
发布时间: 2017/12/26 16:29:09 阅读次数:

How to Get Better at What We Do

张宁

    Most of us go through life trying to do our best at what we do, whether it's our job, family, school or anything else. But I came to a realization that I wasn't getting much better, whether it was being a wife or a friend or a professional, even though I spend a lot of time working hard at them. So I'd like to share with you some insights into why that is and what we can do about it. What I've learned is that the most effective people in any domain go through life deliberately between two zones: the learning zone and the performance zone.  

The learning zone is when our goal is to improve. Then we do activities  for improvement, concentrating on what we haven't mastered yet. That is very different from what we do when we're in our performance zone, which is when our goal is to do something as best as we can. Then we concentrate on what we have already mastered and we try to minimize mistakes. 

Both of these zones should be part of our lives, but being clear about when we want to be in each of them helps us better perform and better improve. The performance zone maximizes our immediate performance, while the learning zone maximizes our growth and our future performance. The reason many of us don't improve much is that we tend to spend almost all of our time in the performance zone. This hinders our growth, and ironically, also our future performance. 

    So what does the learning zone look like? Take Demosthenes, a political leader and the greatest lawyer in ancient Greece. To become great, he didn't spend all his time just being a lawyer, which would be his performance zone. instead,  he realized that being a lawyer involved persuading other people, so he also studied great speeches and acting. To get rid of an odd habit of lifting his shoulder, he practiced his speeches in front of a mirror, and he suspended a sword from the ceiling so that if he raised his shoulder, it would hurt. 

    His activities in the learning zone were very different from his activities in court, his performance zone. In the learning zone, he did what is called deliberate practice. This involves breaking down abilities into component skills, being clear about what subskill we're working to improve, giving full concentration to challenges outside our comfort zone, using frequent feedback with repetition and adjustments,  It is this type of practice which leads to substantial improvement,  but once we think we have become good enough, adequate, then we stop spending time in the learning zone.  when Beyonce is on tour, during the concert, she's in her performance zone. but every night when she gets back to the hotel room, she goes right back into her learning zone. she watches video of the show that just ended, and identifies opportunities for improvement, for herself, her dancers, and her camera staff.

So how can we spend more time in the learning zone? First, we must believe that we can improve. Second, we must want to improve at that particular skill. There has to be a purpose we care about, because it takes time and effort. Third, we must have an idea about what we can do to improve, not how I used to practice the guitar as a teenager, performing songs over and over again, but doing deliberate practice.

Real confidence is about continuous learning. What if, instead of spending our lives doing, doing, performing, performing, we spent more time exploring, asking, listening, experimenting, reflecting, striving and becoming? What if we always had something we were working to improve? And what if we got clear, within ourselves about when we seek to learn and when we seek to perform, so that our efforts can become more consequential, our improvement never-ending and our best even better?

Reflection

高一(1)班马靖凯

Good morning, my dear teachers and fellow students.

Today, I would like to talk about “reflection”.

The ancient thinker Confucius once said, “I reflect on myself several times in a single day.” As we all know, reflection is of great significance in our daily life. But have you ever wondered why? In my opinion, reflection is a powerful tool which can be used to perfect ourselves. It allows us to find out the mistakes we make and correct them in time. However, life without reflection might be terrible because it may lead to poor performance. We will probably meet failure academically and struggle with our daily routine. What’s worse, some people would be confused as their lives are already in chaos, with their teachers and friends disappointed.

I believe that none of us want to end up like that, so we need to take action right now. Keep on reflecting on yourself, and you will make yourself a better person. But how to reflect effectively? Here are my suggestions.

There are 3 steps of reflection. First, find out the mistake you have made, which is the most important part of reflection. The mistakes may not be necessarily serious. Just start with small things that can be dealt with easily, such as being late for 5 minutes. However, that’s not enough. We have to think about whether something we have done could have been done better. Maybe it’s quite difficult, but only in that way can we come up with better solutions, which is the second step. If you find it hard to deal with the difficulty on your own, you can ask teachers for help, who are always willing to give you a hand. There is one more thing that you should keep in mind—the solution must be practical so that you can go to the third step immediately. Then here comes the third step. Action speaks louder than words. It’s not surprising that our solutions won’t have any effect unless we put them into practice. Only after practice can you make progress. The process will certainly be unpleasant, but it deserves all the efforts. If you find it hard to memorize what you need to do, try to stick a note on your desk as a reminder.

I believe that all our efforts will pay off and reflecting every day will make a big difference in our life.

That’s all, thank you.

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