1. Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone. You want to be stretched to the edge of your ability. What you do needs to be challenging. That's how your brain grows. That's how you grow. When you wrestle with a problem, you're getting smarter. The more time you spend there, the faster you learn. Practice on the edge of your ability, stretch yourself over and over again, make mistakes, fail, learn from your mistakes, and reach again.
2. Stop Reading. Start Doing.
Spend only a third of your time studying. Reading is important, because it helps you grow. But the purpose of growth is contribution -- the purpose of reading is the application of that knowledge. So spend one third of your time learning (or else you'll get sucked into the infinite vortex of information), and spend the other two thirds of your time doing, practicing, and testing yourself. The closer your practice is to the real thing, the faster you learn.
3. Use the Goldilocks Rule
Aim for a task that is challenging enough that you are successful about 80% of the time when training. That's the sweet spot for improvement. When learning is too hard, we quit. When it's too easy, we quit too. You want the difficulty level to be just right. And when you master that task so you're successful at a higher rate, make it a little more challenging, so you continue to push yourself to the edge of your ability.
4. Practice the Four-Letter Secret to Success
No, it's not "luck". It's "grit." In psychology, it' is defined as a positive non-cognitive trait based on an individual's passion for a particular long-term goal or end state, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their objective. Where there is no passion, there is no grit. And where there is no grit, there is no real success. Passion and commitment are the difference makers. Commit to the long haul. Don't give up.
5. Choose The Company You Keep
Find a mentor. Watching the best people work is one of the most powerful things you can do. It's motivating, inspiring, and it's how we are built to learn. Study the best to be the best. When we observe someone we want to become, and we have a really clear idea of where we want to be, it unlocks an energy inside of us. "Look, they did it! I can do it!" It sounds very basic, but spending time staring at the best can be one of the most powerful things you do.