Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Selective Attention, Repetition, and Internalizing a Winning Sense of Self

Thanks to a savvy trader for pointing out this excellent post from James Clear on the role of selective attention in the development of expertise.  His observations regarding repetition as the source of skill development is spot on.  So much of expert performance is a function of knowing what to tune out--and then intensifying concentration on the essentials that remain.

While you're at it, check out James' post on quantity vs. quality and how that impacts our work output.  Expertise is all about learning-by-doing, not seeking an abstract standard of perfection.  As he puts it, "start with repetitions, not goals."  

The reason this is powerful is that frequent, positive experience--those small wins--have a powerful mirroring impact.  When we are doing things better and better, we begin to experience ourselves as being better and better.  Our self-concept is an internalization of what we do, not something we can merely talk ourselves into.  Viewing changes with doing: repetitions created repeated positive experiences and repeated reinforcement of a new experience of self.

Further Reading:  How to Change Your Self