skill

Don’t allow for your talents to go to waste. You must use them. Work on them. Improve them. Show the world what it is that you bring to this universe; whether it be in pounding crowds, or the subtlety of silence.
—  Nicole Addison @thepowerwithin
2017 goals

- be kinder to people around you
- compliment others, it could change their day and mood completely
- think more. take some time just to contemplate things, without any distractions
- discover new music and artists!
- take care of yourself more. it’s okay, you’re not wasting any time, this is more important
- read more books
- write more stories
- watch more movies and shows
- don’t waste so much time on your phone
- learn a new skill (maybe a language?)
- go to a new place, like a coffee shop or park or old building or museum
- close your eyes and just breathe
- message more people on tumblr, everybody is so nice here!!
- be a little bit more aware of the consequences of your actions
- plan your day ahead to see what you have to do and what you’ve already accomplished
- take more pictures
- write your goals for school/college down to motivate yourself
- try and maybe just a little happier than last year

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Acrobats are impressive to watch train

How to Practice Effectively

Mastering any physical skill, be it performing a pirouette, playing an instrument, or throwing a baseball, takes practice. Practice is the repetition of an action with the goal of improvement, and it helps us perform with more ease, speed, and confidence. 

There are many theories that attempt to quantify the number of hours, days, and even years of practice that it takes to master a skill. While we don’t yet have a magic number, we do know that mastery isn’t simply about the amount of hours of practice. It’s also the quality and effectiveness of that practice. Effective practice is consistent, intensely focused, and targets content or weaknesses that lie at the edge of one’s current abilities. So if effective practice is the key, how can we get the most out of our practice time? 

Below are 4 tips for practicing better for just about anything!

1. Focus on the task at hand. Minimize potential distractions by turning off the computer or TV and putting your cell phone on airplane mode. In one study, researchers observed 260 students studying. On average, those students were able to stay on task for only six minutes at a time. Laptops, smartphones, and particularly Facebook were the root of most distractions. 

2. Start out slowly or in slow-motion. Coordination is built with repetitions, whether correct or incorrect. If you gradually increase the speed of the quality repetitons, you have a better chance of doing them correctly. 

3. Next, frequent repetitions with allotted breaks are common practice habits of elite performers. Studies have shown that many top athletes, musicians, and dancers spend 50-60 hours per week on activities related to their craft. Many divide their time used for effective practice into multiple daily practice sessions of limited duration. 

4. Finally, practice in your brain in vivid detail. It’s a bit surprising, but a number of studies suggest that once a physical motion has been established, it can be reinforced just by imagining it. In one study, 144 basketball players were divided into two groups. Group A physically practiced one-handed free throws while Group B only mentally practiced them. When they were tested at the end of the two week experiment, the intermediate and experienced players in both groups had improved by nearly the same amount. 

As scientists get closer to unraveling the secrets of our brains, our understanding of effective practice will only improve. In the meantime, effective practice is the best way we have of pushing our individual limits, achieving new heights, and maximizing our potential.

From the TED-Ed Lesson How to practice effectively…for just about anything - Annie Bosler and Don Greene

Animation by Martina Meštrović