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Effortless and Effortful

 When I've been doing something and feel like taking a short break, I play fast chess against someone on the Internet, where each of us has a maximum of five minutes to make all our moves. This way, the game is guaranteed to end in a maximum of ten minutes. And then, I can get back to what I'm doing.

This way, over the past few months, I would have played hundreds of games. However, the quality of my game hasn't really improved much over this time. 

I attribute that to my learning of Chess being effortless

We learn a lot of things in an effortless way. This is undirected learning where we simply accumulate experience and the only learning we have is the patterns and conclusions that our own brains draw from these experiences. These conclusions are not put to test, but simply internalised. 

To get better, as per the ten thousand hour rule, what's needed is not just the time being put in. It needs to be deliberate practice. This involves analysing our own mistakes and shortcomings and directing our further practice to overcome those mistakes and shortcomings. 

This is directed learning. Or effortful learning. 

Effortful learning is vastly superior to effortless learning. And beats effortless learning (or as we call it, natural talent) every time.

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