There’s a story called “The Library Card” and it’s written by an author named Richard Wright. Richard Wright wrote Black Boy and Native Son; he was just a great writer. He wrote this story “The Library Card” and it’s about an African American man who’s working this job and he likes to read. But he can’t read a whole bunch because he doesn’t have a library card. He can’t have a library card because it’s the early nineteen hundreds and he’s living in the South so he can’t make use of the library system.
He hears about this guy named H.L. Menckin. Menckin is making a fuss. People are hate this guy. It’s white people who are hating this guy. He realizes if white people hate this white man, he has find out what the heck this guy is saying to make everybody so upset.
So he goes out and he tries to find somebody who will allow him to use their library library card so he could check out books. He could lie to them and just tell them this made up story so that they can agree to him actually giving him their library card to use.
Finally, he finds somebody, he goes to the library, and he checks out books. He reads and reads and reads. He almost gets caught and there’s a lot of drama about him checking out the book. He just continually reads. He goes back and he gets more books and he goes back and he gets more books and he expands himself beyond his limits.
So he has some limitations, but every time he reads, he’s practicing his reading and he’s growing himself beyond his current limitations through reading.
One day he’s at this work and he discovers that he’s read himself to expansion. He’s expanded himself through reading. Because his reading has expanded him, he can’t be in a subservient role anymore because he knows too much. He has too much internal infrastructure built up to where he’s not going to take anybody’s shit anymore. His reading practice made him a different man.
And it got me to thinking that, you know, deliberate practice does this to someone like whether it’s reading or something else, you expand yourself with deliberate practice. And this guy in the story, he expanded himself with deliberate practice. The fact is that he couldn’t be the same way and neither could you.
You can’t be the same way after you’ve deliberately practiced something for an extended period of time. We find out in the book, Peak by Anders Erickson.
You have to expand yourself by doing things repeatedly, deliberately practicing them to expand yourself and improve yourself.
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