Do you practice?

I was listening to The Rich Roll podcast with Michael Gervais as a guest, and I was blown away by this brief story that Michael tells about practice. (Click the image below to watch it yourself.)

Frame grab from YouTube of Michael Gervais telling the story about practice

Michael Gervais was talking to a singer he admired and said, “You are an amazing singer, I wish I could sing like that.”
The singer replied, “Have you practiced?”
“No,” Michael replied, “ I think I’m tone-deaf.”
The singer persisted, “But, have you practiced?”
“I’m not tone deaf, but I can’t hit a note.”
“Yeah, but how much time do you practice?”
“No, I don’t practice…”
“So you don’t really want to sing like that…”

There are so many times when I see something in someone else that I admire. It could be an artistic talent, or an ability to communicate, or courage, or anything, and I assume that this is an innate talent that they possess.

“He’s an amazing Artist!” or “She’s got a talent for communication.”

But as I heard the exchange above, it struck me how much that thought was letting me off the hook and minimizing what the other person went through to develop that “talent.”

My college roommate was an amazing guitar player, but he practiced several hours daily! Seth Godin communicates more in a 500-word blog than most people can in a book, but he’s been at it for over 20 years.

So, next time I see an attribute that I really admire, I have to ask myself, “Do you want to practice?” Because I’m confident that I could do it if I put in the practice.

Where are you putting in the practice? Where are you letting yourself slide with the phrase, “That’s just not something I’m good at”?

P.S. That interview is 2 hours long, but this is far from the most insightful point in it. I’d recommend the whole thing. You can find it here: https://www.richroll.com/podcast/michael-gervais-808/

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