Practice Makes Perfect
Can Practicing Help Improve My Attitude?
You bet it does. But it is not as simple as merely “practicing” whatever it is that you want to get good at. You have to learn how to practice the right way. Indeed, practicing can be used in virtually every profession as a way of getting good at something. But instead of practicing to make perfect, we should first practice in a perfect way in order to realize perfection.
Sound confusing? Let us take a look at the differences between merely practicing and perfectly practicing. This is the key towards realizing the difference between mediocrity and greatness.
If you are a musician or an athlete, for instance, you already know the importance of practicing. But it is the way the practice is carried out that truly matters. If you are just going through the motions, practicing for a certain amount of time each day just to say that you have practiced, then you are really not doing enough.
While attaining a degree of strength and endurance is indeed important to any profession, this is not the end goal of practicing – it is but one component of the end goal. After all, what good is having a lot of strength and endurance if it just means you can be a mediocre athlete or an okay piano player for a longer period of playing time? The point is that quality practicing is a lot more important than a time based, i.e. quantitative approach to practicing.
How Can I Develop Better Habits?
We are all defined by our individual limitations as human beings. As such, as the old saying goes, we are all slaves to our habits. Once you fully realize this, you can then make a conscious decision to develop better habits. That can be one of your long-term goals in life. Not only is this essential for becoming better at your chosen vocation, but it can also help you get rid of bad habits that are ultimately self defeating. How we practice and exercise – both in a mental and physical fashion – determines how well we perform once we test our skills in a real world environment.
Of course, our musician and athlete, to continue with the example we used above, must first towards building up their endurance and strength before they are able to attain the minimum level of competency on the playing field and when they come before their instruments. But before getting their bodies involved, they will first need to examine their mental state.
How Can I Test Myself?
One method of making sure that we are putting our practice and our mental exercises to good use is to administer “tests” to oneself every once in a blue moon. If you are a musician, this is rather easy – you need simply record yourself performing.
People in other fields can find similar means of testing their abilities on a regular basis. Like the tape recorder example used above, the idea is to find an objective outside source for displaying your skills so that you can then critique them.
Perhaps that outside source will be another person – a trusted colleague in your chosen profession, for example, who you can rely on to give you honest feedback.
It is then up to you to listen to that feedback and analyze it before deciding what to do with it. Some of their criticism and advice might be useful – while some of it may not. If you trust the individual, then hopefully most of it will be useful. Its “usefulness” will be largely contingent on its relation to your ultimate goals in life.
What If I Feel Like I Am Not Moving Forward Fast Enough?
You just have to have a relaxed attitude towards practicing. You will want to practice reaching your goals at a very slow pace at first. This will help you understand each and every point of your goal, and will give you a fuller consciousness towards going about its accomplishment. All of your goals must come from within. If you listen too much to what other people think and allow their perspective to influence you, then you will find that you are working to attain personal goals that are not personal at all – rather, goals that have been set for you by someone outside of you.
Motivation must always be tempered to a certain extent by realism. In order to fully convince your unconscious mind that your goal in life is realizable, then you have to believe that the goal is something that can actually be accomplished. The only thing that is left, then, is to figure out the exact path you will take towards achieving your goal and thus attaining the level of success that you already know you deserve.