The late swimming coach Terry Laughlin had a powerful note on the plateau as he summarized his lessons learnt from George Leonard’s book on Mastery.
“Love the Plateau. All worthwhile progress occurs through brief, thrilling leaps forward followed by long stretches during which you feel you’re going nowhere. Though it seems as if you’re making no progress, learning continues at the cellular level. If you follow good practice principles, you are turning new behaviors into habits.”
Progress is lumpy. We experience short periods of acceleration when we go through an intense experience, crystallize important learning, or, every once a while, experience a good outcome. But, between these periods of acceleration, we go through long periods of time (i.e. the plateau) when we’re just working away in relative silence.
Channeling Terry Laughlin, keep working away purposefully. Love the plateau – love is a verb.