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38 - Using Intentional Practice to Level Up - Health Fit Biz




Ryan: I’m Dr. Ryan Debell. Welcome back once again to the Health Fit Business podcast. This is episode number 38. In this episode, it’s a continuation of the last episode, 37, which is on The Adjacent Possible, where we talked about you need expertise in multiple areas in order to see opportunities.  So, sort of a cliffhanger. It’s like “How do I go about doing that?” Well, that’s what this episode is about intentional practice with feedback mechanism so that you know if your intentional practice is making the improvement that you are trying to get.  So, without further ado, let’s tune in to episode number 38.

Ryan: Okay! Now, we’re going.

Anthony: Welcome! Welcome! Welcome to another episode of the Health Fit…

Ryan: Business podcast. This is episode, I don’t know the number.

Anthony:  Something, something.

Ryan: Something… something, something.

Anthony: And doctor, you have something to share with me. You said last episode last week that “Oh! I mean to say what I’m trying to work on increasing my skills in a different area so I can have more adjacent possible.” We don’t know what that is. Listen to the last episode, something, something and what would that be for you doctor?

Ryan: Human psychology.

Anthony: Okay. What does that mean?

Ryan: I’m trying to improve and deepen my understanding of human psychology in terms of why do we make decisions that we make. Why do we react the way that we react to certain things, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I find that fascinating. I’ve taken a couple of psychology courses in undergrad but that was just the basic stuff that they require. It’s not the meaty stuff that I want but I really want to understand that better. Both for, you know how it relates to business as well as how it relates to helping people. Almost communication as part of that.  

Anthony: Yeah, you need to read all of Sapiens and Homo Deus.

Ryan: Every time I try to read Sapiens, I fall asleep. You know what? I like Sapiens…

Anthony: Jesus!

Ryan: C’mon! I like the book Sapiens but it started making me bitter.

Anthony: Don’t do this “ignorance is a bliss” thing. That’s the way reality is man.

Ryan: I know but whenever… When I started reading it, I realized, I started to be really spiteful of just everything. I’ll finish the book and I’ll read … Okay, anyways.

Anthony: Anybody’s out there who first to comment on whatever share an episode of ours, I’ll buy you a copy.

Ryan: Message Health Fit Business. The first person to message…

Anthony: Share the Instagram picture that we put up for this episode on your Instagram or Facebook and I’ll buy you a copy of Sapiens. Send us an email whatever.

Ryan: You’re very generous. What are we talking about in this episode?

Anthony: Yeah. This episode contains information about the Adjacent Possible. It kind of left people we were chatting with in the last episode done recording that. Just to say, be an expert at something sounds super easy but until you actually come up a framework on how to do that, it’s actually not. It takes a lot of time. And so, if I will just go and shoot a basketball randomly throughout the day and just shock it at the backboard but no feedback, I’m never going to be able to shoot a free throw. Right? But I shock as hard as I can randomly throughout the week.  So, we were talking a lot about these concepts before obviously, but coming up with a way to intentionally improve your skills.

Ryan: You know, if you just go in and out of each day saying “Oh! I hope I have time to work on this skill. At the end of the day, if there’s time I’m going to spend some time learning about xy or z,” it’s never going to happen.

Anthony: Nope! Nope!

Ryan: Because you literally have to make time. You know what people say “You got to make time. You got to make time for it.” That actually requires you to do, act differently in your day. You literally have to break what you normally do in the day to make that happen. So, it’s not like “Oh! I’m just going to try harder at the end of the day to find time.” You have to intentionally block out time, wake up early, put other things that you would normally do in the morning or at night in a different position so that you have a dedicated time to do this. You have to schedule it. You have to prioritize it if you want it to actually happen. So think about this, if you took 30 minutes or an hour every day or let’s even say three days a week, that would be 3 hours per week x 52 weeks. That’s going to be 156 hours in a course of the year to develop your skill. So, right away after week or two you’re not going to feel like that much has happened. Think about how much you can develop your skills in an area with hundreds of hours of practice. It’s going to grow from there.

Anthony: It’s the consistency I think is key paired with however intentional feedback to know you’re improving or know your mistakes.

Ryan: How do I do that?

Anthony: If… That’s a good question. Going by the basketball analogy, if I… Okay! I’m going to wake up every morning at 7 am and go shoot a hundred buckets. And then I went there I checked the ball as hard as I could backward. I’m not going to improve. Doesn’t matter how consistent I am. Sitting there with the coach he’s like, “What are you doing? Stop shocking at things. Shoot it like this.” Step here. Do this more often with more consistency. That intention is, I think, the most important things. And so, an example of clearly relates to what I said last episode. I’m trying to improve my writing skills. I’ve never considered myself as a good writer. I think it’s better for me to think. I think better when I write better and I think it is a better way for me to communicate and learn. So, this is one of the reasons why I’m trying to get better at it. So, what I’m doing is in my intentional spreadsheet, we’ve talked about it before, one of the things that I track every single day is 30 minutes of writing. So, I have.. So, that’s exactly what I’m trying to do every single day, to write at least 30 minutes. I have a little timer in my computer. Wonderful screen mode and just keep writing until I’m done. Okay. So, that’s the time -consistency part of it. Any kind of ability is something that you can bake in so that’s why I have that sheet and that’s why I can see and don’t say that I’m doing every single day. I have an actual calculation that shows how effective I am in getting that done. But what else I did is I went to Upwork and found a PhD English professor that has written several books to take my articles that I published and each week go through like four or five of them and give me a list of all the things that I am doing continuously that I’m doing that could improve my writing. Things like mistakes I am making. Like “don’t put this sentence like this. Structure your sentence more like that.” So, I go through each edited article and then I look at that list of all the things that I’m doing incorrectly and then pull that up, review it before each time I write. So, that way I am conscious of it “Oh! I need to use more commas in this type of a sentence. Oh! I need to do this like that.” And then I frame my brain around that and try to write, review it. I started working two weeks ago and that has cost me a $150 so far for that PhD level English professor whose written books to review dozens of articles and give me like very specific feedback to improve. And so, when I whittle down the 20% of things that I am doing that could make me 80% better of a writer, I can get so much better so much more quickly though than if I were just do it consistently. If I was just to write 30 minutes a day, it doesn’t mean I’m not going to get better but having that feedback in my ability like “No! No! Keep doing this. Stop it! Move your arm like this and shoot the ball like that” kind of thing. So, that’s how I’m using both time and consistency along with intentional feedback to improve my skills quicker than what I would have otherwise. I mean, while I’d love to write 4 hours a day and get better that way, it’s just not possible for me to do that currently. So, I need to be as pointed as possible in improving those skills.

Ryan: Because if you spend two hours a day writing and it was just not good writing, you’ll just going to be crank out. You’ll be good writing volume of not good stuff. And your skills may improve a little bit just by going through the process, but as you said because your time is somewhat limited, how can you make it as effective and as hard hitting as possible? Making it very focused and having the feedback so that it’s really tight. It’s really impactful. That was great.

Anthony: Yeah. So, I think, that’s one of the biggest thing that people don’t think about is “How can I make this an intentional way to improve?” So, another thing just for example of how people can use this. When I play guitar, I try to learn step and if it is a really complicated say the riff you call it or a lick? Some little guitar lingo for you there.

Ryan: I’m 0% in guitar.

Anthony: Different note successions right? If I can’t do that, I’m not just going to… What I do is I slow it down. I actually slow the music down and I play along with it until I perfect it and then I speed it up a bit at 10%. Play along again, mess up, and then stop over. If I don’t go through it every time I mess up, that’s a feedback mechanism of “Hey! You did not do this right.” Rewind it, keep slow back down closer to perfection, and just keep doing that and I can learn something very very quickly and improve my skills rapidly whereas if I am just messing around and not really knowing when I messed up and why.

Ryan: One of the ways that I’ve implemented is similar things in terms of the feedback is… So, one of the things I spent a lot of time doing is speaking publicly you know at events and then having those events recorded and then watching it and analyzing “How do you interact? What’s your word choice and seeing how you actually speak.” And you could apply that to many situations. You got to apply that to. This is why people record interactions with patients or clients so they can review and be like “Oh! I do this when I should be doing that.”

Anthony: Right.

Ryan: You could also and then you could go on Upwork and hire someone whose maybe a communications specialist or speech writer, something like that, to watch you talk and tell you ways…

Anthony: For me, it’s too easy to brush over like “Oh! I know I should probably be getting a little bit better at that.” And so that’s like, even after we recorded a ton of videos up in Portland, as soon as we hit the off switch I think I remember asking you like “How can I improve?” And so, having someone around you that you can trust, so I consider you way better than me on videos. You’re way more experienced. You record videos every week. I’m not more than that and so I would consider your artistic level much higher and so I can just say “Hey! From you looking at me, how can I improve and how can I do that like right now after we just recorded this?” So, for me asking other people is better than just reviewing episodes like looking at the videos “Oh! Yeah! I do this thing but whatever.” But if you were just like, “No! No! You kept doing this!” Your awareness is much quicker.    

Ryan: Yeah. Because I may see things that you don’t see which is why you need a fresh pair about it.

Anthony: Because I don’t have the expertise to be like “Oh! I should have left more time in the beginning or at the end of the videos so we can clip them better.”

Ryan: Yeah! That is, by the way, that’s a good thing fresh to tell people. You’re going to make videos, you need a 3-second buffer at the beginning and at the end of the video so when you go edit it, you have a clean transition in and a clean transition out.

Anthony: So, I would have not if I just reviewed my own recordings, I would not have picked up on that versus if I were just to ask you immediately then you could have said… Now every time I think about recording a podcast or video, I’ve done that. So, thank you!

Ryan: You’re welcome! Now, this is such a great point this is going to lead to, you learned that in two minutes because you asked me.

Anthony: And how long does it takes for you to learn on your own?

Ryan: Exactly. Exactly. That took me a lot of messed up videos. It took me, you know, it took me let’s say a hundred times longer with much more pain doing it on my own rather than asking someone or learning from someone who knew more than me. Because I would have a lot of videos where I would go… You know, I filmed maybe 10 videos in a session and I would go home and edit it. “Crap!” It won’t transition well. It may not be a huge deal. You want to quality of the things you make to be as good as possible

Anthony: It is not something as simple as that.   

Ryan: Yeah! So now, whenever I have someone who recorded a video for me who doesn’t usually record, I make sure to instruct them like “After I’m done talking at the end, don’t just push the off button. Because that’s what people want to do.” As soon as you say like “Okay. That’s what we got for this week” they want to push off. I’m like “Hold it for 5 seconds before you stop recording” because that is not intuitive. There’s just things that aren’t intuitive that you can learn from somebody. So, I’ve actually been thinking about one of the areas that I want to improve on as well is improving my presentation skills because I’ve never been formally trained in that.  

Anthony: You’re at east though.

Ryan: I mean, I’ve done it a lot. I used to be not good at it and so I’ve done it the hard way but it does make me wonder what are the things that I could be doing that I don’t even realized? You know the beauty of something like Upwork, is you have access to people who have PhDs in specific topic that you can hire to do these things for you.

Anthony: For relatively nothing.

Ryan: Like the analytics on my website, I was going to set that up. I hired a PhD mathematician who specializes in analytics to set up the analytics and then pay him to teach me how he did it. Because you know how long that would take you to learn on your own just by fiddling around?

Anthony: A long time.

Ryan: May be a long time. We’re getting kind of off topic but the point is…

Anthony: When you’re just being intentional in improving your skills. Yeah! The point that you are trying to make is that people are… The quality that you can get in coaching and feedback through things like Upwork is fantastic.  You should definitely take that into account.

Ryan:  It’s not just having people do work for you.  You can also hire them to teach and review your own skills.  That’s not an intuitive thing to think about doing.

Anthony: Yes, you are not outsourcing something on an outsourcing site, you are using it for feedback and intentional practice and improvement.  So, that’s kind of a different way you use that type of website. So!

Ryan: What’s the cow?

Anthony: Challenge of the week is think about something that you want to improve, dedicate a consistent time to it and then find some way for dedicated feedback and improvement. Even if this isn’t something that you haven’t mind yet, one of the things so I have like weekly Mastermind thing that I meet up with business owners in San Francisco and like once a month I will ask them “What is one weakness that you guys see in my communication?” Next week “What is one weakness that you see in my writing, my presentation, my speaking skills?” And then next month, “What is the weakness that you see here?” Just getting asking people those questions and thinking about in that mindset of intentionally improving is key. Even if you don’t have a skill that you don’t want to improve, there is an easy way to do an exercise like this.

Ryan: And for lot of people asking people to tell you why you are not doing well, at first, it’s uncomfortable.  It’s not a personal thing. You are using it to be better.

Anthony: Yeah! I love it!

Ryan: You love having people tell you ways that you could be better but I know for a lot of people they don’t like that because they are very sensitive to the…

Anthony: You have to admit you’re wrong or not good at something.  People don’t like that but the only way to get better is for you to know where you are not good at or what you are doing wrong.

Ryan: The good thing is once you know that, you could plug the hole and make yourself better. So, again ignorance is bliss. Would you rather not know that that’s an area of weakness or would you rather know so you can make an area of strength. It’s not like that weakness in that area is you’re a bad person, it’s an opportunity to be better.

Anthony: Yep! So, think about a skill that you want to improve, block some time out, get some intentional feedback and get after it.

Ryan: Thank you guys for tuning in to this episode of the Health Fit Business podcast. If you found it helpful, please share with someone that you think it would also help and leave us a five-star rating on iTunes. Make sure also to go to healthfit.biz and sign up for the email notifications to which you can find right on the homepage so that you get all the updated podcasts and blog posts sent directly to you. Until then, we will see you next time.