Three simple steps to world-class achievement

By Matt Perryman

I’ve heard it said that you can get to the top 5% in most any field with a single year of consistent deliberate practice.

There’s three parts to break out of that:


To get better at anything, you have to do that thing. This should be obvious, but you can assume that nothing is obvious to anyone. The twin demons of perfectionism and self-doubt make this “self-evident” truth hard to see. This is one thing I repeat to my little girls when they get frustrated (which is often). Nobody starts out at the top. If you want to get there, you put in the work. Your job is not doing easy things. Your job is to keep coming back.


If practice is the “what”, practicing deliberately is the “how”. It’s common enough to find a person bragging about “30 years experience”. Look at their accomplishments and the harsh truth is that they repeated Year One thirty times. There’s no growth, no expansion, no increase in capabilities. Practice is necessary, but showing up and going through the motions is not enough. To improve requires a direction and a purpose. Deliberate practice means doing things a little harder than last time.


Nobody ever got good by doing something once. Practice means doing your thing on a consistent routine. Again, this should go without saying, but the obvious is rarely obvious. If you want to be a great writer, write every single day. If you want to be the best salesman in the world, you’d best be on the phone and pounding pavement on the regular. Consistency isn’t everything, but without it, you don’t have a practice and you aren’t deliberate. Making the commitment to show up and keeping that promise is necessary to get in the door.

There is no roadmap to success. If you do those three things for whatever it is you want to improve, you’ll be in a different world 12 months from today.

Matt Perryman 

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