CHAPTER 5

Become a Master of Failure

Something experts in all fields tend to do when they’re practicing is to operate outside of their comfort zone and study themselves failing. The best figure skaters in the world spend more of their practicing time practicing jumps that don’t land than lesser figure skaters do. The same is true of musicians. When most musicians sit down to practice, they play the parts of pieces they’re good at. Of course they do; it’s fun to succeed! But expert musicians tend to focus on the parts that are hard. The parts they haven’t yet mastered. The way to get better at a skill is to force yourself to practice just beyond your limits.

—JOSHUA FOER, MOONWALKING WITH EINSTEIN

Adam Kreek is a two-time rowing Olympian with ...

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