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Practice Doesnt Make Perfect

Several years ago I wrote a piece on how there was a growing stream of thought lead by the likes of Malcom Gladwell that talent was an overrated commodity and that all it took to be successful was practice. I will save everyone the trouble of reading my initial article and simply say this motion is and always has been bullshit. It can be dropped into the outdoor dunny of stupid lazy ideas such as those promulgated by idiocy such as The Secret where all you had to do was wish for things and they happened. Such notions are bread and butter for the gullible, stupid and lazy among us.

Subscribing to this notion that all it took was practice to make it big was Dan McLaughlin, who became a bit of  poster child for this sort of thing with his attempt to practice his way to becoming a professional golfer despite having never played golf before.  Unfortunately, for Dan his quest to become a professional golfer on practice along didn’t work out the way he thought it would. It didn’t work out simply because he was not born with the natural ability that all people who are very good at something have from the moment they arrive. This is simply the nature of the world. Every sprinter in the world can practice as much as they want but they will never match the feats of Usain Bolt because you have the unique intersection of extraordinary talent, work, and opportunity.

This does not mean that you cannot get better at a chosen endeavour with practice but it does mean there are limitations on what you can achieve.



  1. Julia Osorio says:

    I’ve heard a new & better spin on this saying “Practice makes progress.”

    Maybe people are starting to come awake & realise that a fish practicing climbing a tree might get better with “practice” but still will personally always be really crap at it. In this case “practice” might progress it to realise it should quit & go jump into to water where it belongs….. or progress/evolve by trying a different route in life to achieve its goal by growing body parts that will allow it to exist out of water?

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