There is an irrefutable law of living that everyone understands yet so many fight against, and that law is this: if you want to get good at something you have to do it a lot. The more often you do this thing, the better you will be at it. This concept is called “practice”. You may have heard of it.
Musicians practice. Athletes practice. Authors practice. There’s simply no way around the fact that, in order to improve, you need to put in the hours. Malcolm Gladwell popularized the “10,000 Hour Rule” in his book Outliers; and while some have picked apart Gladwell’s assertion, the fact remains that it’s only through years of daily and deliberate practice that one can achieve mastery of their craft.
Shortcuts abound, of course. You can use Auto-Tune to fix a weak voice; you can take PEDs to compensate for a lack of natural athleticism; you can hire a ghostwriter to assist with your novel. It all depends on what you’re hoping to gain from the task. If you want to actually sing well, using a computer program to help you hit those high notes isn’t going to be of any value. If, however, you want to be a YouTube sensation and simply appear to have musical chops, well, go right ahead and tweak those vocals. Just remember:
When we’re exercising, what are we doing but practicing movement patterns? We’re refining our technique, we’re becoming more efficient. Or at least we should be. Simply loading up a barbell and firing on all cylinders gets your nowhere. If you want to deadlift like The Mountain, you have to put in the hours, you have to work on things every day, and then maybe — MAYBE — people will share videos of you pulling 900+ pounds. You can’t take a shortcut towards perfection. There isn’t a life hack that leads to the mastery of anything.
Mastery is a big, bold word. Pretentious, even. And that’s fair. Not everything we do in life needs to be done with perfection in mind. But when it comes to your physical health, why settle for anything less?