CrossFit is like essentially learning a new skill set. The best way to master it is through practice and repetition. Once you take this far enough you enter a “cycle of accelerated returns”; in which the practice becomes easier and more interesting. Therefore, leading to the ability to practice for longer hours, increasing skill level, and making practice even more interesting. The pain, boredom, and frustration we experience in the initial stages of learning a skill toughen our minds. Too many people believe that everything must be pleasurable in life, which makes them constantly search for distractions, which short-circuits the learning process. Throughout your life you will encounter tedious situations and you must culture the ability to handle them with discipline.

When you start something new, a larger number of neurons in the brain are recruited and become active, helping you in the learning process. If something is repeated often enough, it becomes hard-wired and automatic, which is often called muscle memory in regards to fitness. The neural pathways for this learned skill are delegated to other parts of the brain, thus freeing up parts of the brain to acquire new skills. New skill acquisition works best when dedicating your focus to one new skill at a time.

Once an action becomes automatic, you now have the mental space to observe yourself as you practice. You must use this distance to take note of weaknesses or flaws that need correction. It helps also to gain as much feedback as possible from others to have standards against which to measure your progress against. Trying something new over and over again grounds you in reality, making you deeply aware of your inadequacies and what you can accomplish with more work and effort.

As elements becomes more automatic, your mind is not exhausted by the effort and you can practice harder, which in turn brings greater skill and more pleasure. You can look for challenges, new areas to conquer, keeping your interest at a high level. As the cycle accelerates, you can reach a point where your mind is totally absorbed in the practice, entering a kind of flow in which everything else is blocked out.

– Mastery by Robert Greene with my twist.


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