It is said that practice will make it perfect, which is a true statement. Only by practicing, we can improve our performance in time. In fact, these two are alternating in life, or so they should, in our attempt to go up the ladder and achieve superior levels in the activities we love doing. It doesn’t matter what your activity is, whether you are playing an instrument, if you are a plumber, or if you are a web developer, all these activities and many other can be perfected through practicing. If you want to perform better in your domain, your only option is periodic practicing, until the acquired skills and experience will allow you to evolve.
You should look at performance and practice as a continual loop in your life. When you first start, your performance is not looking too good. You have just some basic skills that allow you to stay above the surface. Only through practice you can reach the next level, where your performance is much improved. The period of practice cannot be accurately determined because it depends on each person how fast they will acquire a new set of skills to allow their performance to improve. Also, after reaching a new level of performance, if you want to become even better, you should not settle with what you achieved. You can continue practicing to go even higher and so on. The most successful persons in the world, from various activity domains, practiced what they were doing for their entire lives. Their desire to become better took them where they stand today, keeping their will to practice alive during years.
To understand better the relationship between practice and performance, let us look at the story of a person that loved playing the violin, but didn’t have a native talent for it. Playing the violin started more as a passion for that person, so the skills were rather basic and the performance of that person was terrible, being obvious that there is no native talent to help out in this case. But, this person found a great pleasure in playing the violin, not giving up and practicing continuously. The practice went on for years, with each year passing by, this person reaching a new performance level, with much better skills concerning violin playing. Now, this person is able to play the violin at public events and concerts, where a high number of people attend to enjoy the music.
The main point is that if you don’t enjoy doing a certain activity, practicing will be much harder and will take much longer. There is a high possibility that the activity is not for you. If you feel so, try looking for something you love doing, because when you feel a certain pleasure and satisfaction when doing a particular activity, practicing will also be more pleasant and you will achieve a great performance in no time. But, do remember that these two go hand in hand, regardless if you have native talent or not. Even if you enjoy the gift of native talent in a certain activity, that gem will have to be polished with the help of practice into an exceptional performance.