Thursday, December 12, 2013

Practice and Purpose


Ask yourself the secret of your success. Listen to your answer, and practice it.

Richard Bach

“Practice yourself, for heaven's sake in little things, and then proceed to greater.

Epictetus

“Take chances, make mistakes. That's how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.

Mary Tyler Moore


 “If you want to be a writer, you have to write.”  That’s what the experts say.  So I’m writing.  I don’t yet know what I’m writing about, but I’m writing.   And I’m happy to be writing.  Being with my Muse is my favorite thing to do.  So now I practice the all-too familiar exercise of letting my fingers hit the keyboard until the Muse speaks to me.  That’s not as a bad as it sounds.  My Muse is teaching me discipline, self-discipline, something I don’t have a lot of.  This is good practice.
In my most recent blog, I talked about practice.  Practice is a good concept. It’s what I need to do.  I need to do it in many areas of life, not just my writing.  Here are some things I think I should be practicing as often as possible:
·      Self-discipline
·      Gratitude
·      Being happy
·      Controlling my thoughts
·      Managing fear
·      Smiling
·      Breathing
·      Meditating
·      Cleaning up after myself
·      Taking care of myself
·      Studying
·      Reading
·      Taking care of my finances
·      Being in the present
·      Not complaining
·      Laughing at myself
·      Being patient
·      Being kinder
·      Being true to my word
·      Listening before speaking
·      Sticking to a task until it’s done.
·      Praying
·      Teaching well

It is said that practice makes perfect.  I don’t think I’ll ever be perfect at anything, but I can be pretty good.   They will take practice.  All of them.  This includes my gifts.  Especially my gifts.  Maybe the other things, the things that don’t come naturally to me, I can turn into additional gifts, ones I never knew I had.  Maybe I can be an expert in not complaining.  Or perhaps I can be the authority on listening before speaking.  What if I were the “go-to guy” for being happy?  What if I were a master on finances?  Suppose I knew all there was to know about laughing at myself?
I admit some of those ideas intrigue me.
Here’s what I think:  We practice things until they become habits.  Unfortunately, many of us practice the wrong things.  We complain, waste time and ignore our crucial Purposes in life.  We practice not doing, until it becomes habitual.  Then we wonder where the years went.
I got tired of not doing.  That’s why I write.
I need to grow, to stretch myself.  I can’t spend any more time not doing.  There’s too much to do.
I know my Muse prefers this.
I know I do, too.
It’s time to Get Started and Keep Going…and keep practicing.