Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool – Peak (2016)

by vyh

What can we learn from expert performers about what it takes to keep going?

Let’s get one thing out of the way right up front. It may seem natural to assume that these people who maintain intense practice schedules for years have some rare gift of willpower or “grit” or “stick-to-itiveness” that the rest of us just lack, but that would be a mistake for two very compelling reasons.

First, there is little scientific evidence for the existence of a general “willpower” that can be applied in any situation. … In fact, if anything, the available evidence indicates that willpower is a very situation-specific attribute. …

When you quit something that you had initially wanted to do, it’s because the reasons to stop eventually came to outweigh the reasons to continue. Thus, to maintain your motivation you can either strengthen the reasons to keep going or weaken the reasons to quit.