Tom Bilyeu, the co-founder of Quest Nutrition, believes with practice that you will always improve with time.
For tasks where you don’t know what you’re doing wrong, practicing will just make you consistent, not better. Tom is a fantastic guru in general and many times practice DOES make us better like Tom says, but if you’ve seen someone try at something for years without ever succeeding, you can immediately realize intuitively that he’s wrong.
Practice is only a feedback loop. If you get bad feedback, practicing to get better no longer works and usually just leads someone to doing more of the same things and/or more consistently.
If someone cat calls women at the club, and one of them actually seems receptive, it’s unlikely that the guys ‘game’ is going to get much better if that’s all he’s doing.
Bad behavior can often be rewarded and reinforce bad habits, making practice useless. – Truth Cake.
Practicing stock / crypto trading will not likely make you better. Practicing poker will not make you better. Many things you can practice but because you don’t know if your behavior was actually good to get a reward or not, makes it VERY difficult to get any value from practice.
Only study will help you get better in certain tasks. Only doing / practice will help you get better in other tasks. – Truth Cake.
So how to know whether to practice or study?
Muscle memory things with immediate feedback that is reliable should be practiced. Things like singing, playing instruments, gymnastics, driving a car, etc. Studying and reading books won’t help you here because you almost immediately know definitively on whether you did something right or wrong.
Mental things with immediate or delayed feedback where the feedback may not reflect whether you did something right or not, requires study. Anything where bad behavior has a chance to be rewarded (ie playing the lotto, chess, poker, stocks, etc) is going to render practice almost useless.
Of course, many things are a combination of both, such as cooking since you have physical aspects as well as mental aspects to learning how to cook.
Merely doing something over a long period of time, under the guise of practice and thinking you’ll be better, is simply not going to be true.
What things have you practiced and didn’t get any better before realizing that you should have been studying?