Get the Powers to Act from Fresh Ideas

December 19, 2012

Ability and Practice | Our New Year Gift - 2

This New Year Gift sure beats
  1. Talent is Overrated, or
  2. 10,000 Hour Rule, or
  3. Mastery, or
  4. Loving the Plateau, or
  5. Liberation Management, or
  6. even Tao ( all of Lao Tzu, Chwang Tzu and Lieh Tzu),
  7. or even the synthesis of all. That's why I attempted no synthesis here.

Requirements of Deliberate Practice Commonly Discussed

  1. Hard work.
  2. Patience. 
  3. Awareness or attentiveness.

Together they form a very partial answer. They raise more question than they answer. For instance:
  1. How hard is hard enough? How long? How many hours a day? How often?
  2. How patient? Remember that tolerance of ambiguity is a sign of intelligence but a high degree of tolerance of ambiguity suggests otherwise? What kind of patience?
  3. What should I attend to when I train? How do I focus my attention? What do I do whdn my attention wanders?

Above all, how do I know whether Iam doing a deliberate parctice session or not? How do I know if I am in the "flow" when I am practising?

The Answer

Here's how the Buddha wants us to practice meditation.

You can use it whether you are an atheist or a communist or whatever.

And you can use it to improve your golf swing, to speed up your jeet kune do jab, to learn data structures and algorithms in computer science, to become fluent faster in Spanish, to rev up your carnal game with sensate focus, and so on.

  1. Have no longing/ attachment / desire/ clinging /grasping /clasping /greed.
  2. Have no discontentment/ill-will/anger/annoyance/aversion.
  3. Have target of performance. Know what you want to achieve. Know what you're trying to do at every moment.
  4. Monitor your own performance with full, ardent/vigorous awareness.
  5. You know you succeed with your parctice when you see finer discriminations, when you see the consequences/impacts/implications of an action farther and wider in scope, when you can build up a good mental model with less and less input.
Compare these ideas with the literature I quoted above.

The best of this planet or the Universe?

You decide.


  1. Brilliant ideas always make my day. Thank you a lot for this post.

  2. Thank you very much since we don't have time to read far and wide.
    We just want to read some simple practical tips for our kids.
    Tnanks again.

  3. "Have no longing/ attachment / desire/ clinging /grasping /clasping /greed.

    Have no discontentment/ill-will/anger/annoyance/aversion."

    When emotionally distant, we become more cognitively close and immersive.

    Good points.