Through practise we improve, isn’t a ground-breaking secret. But it’s a major factor in creating the change you’re wishing for.
If we were to take look in the big bag of cliché’s labelled ‘practise’, we’d find more than a few. Practise makes perfect, proper preparation prevents poor performance, played it till my fingers bled, twas the summer of ’69. You get the picture. To become better at anything, we must practise.
Having a natural talent or affinity for something isn’t enough. Google the rise to fame of certain sports stars and you’ll have pages of evidence to support that statement. And yet, in many circles of conversation, there remains either a tinge of expectation, dare I say entitlement, that skills or abilities should “just come a little more easily”, and not require so much practise. Really?
Such shrouds of wanting and wishing are blinding us from seeing what’s required to have our wishes come true. This is because the mind is quite the trickster. By allowing it to convince us things should be easier than they appear, the mind gives us an increased desire to quit. “Unless I get some instant gratification from this in 10 minutes, I’m taking my bat and ball and going home!”
As they say in aviation, it’s all in the approach. And the approach we take towards practise, courtesy of our mindset, is the one thing standing between what we strive for, and what we achieve. That’s not high-fallootin’ motivational argy bargy, that’s a fact that applies to all aspects of life.
Take a closer look at any type of material geared towards teaching a new skill or talent. It’s staged and platformed in such a way as to start with the basics and develop them to become a set of advanced learning’s. Then there’s exercises to help us learn through real-world examples. The point is, expectations have already been set throughout that material. It’s our mindset who’s modifying those expectations and creating thoughts around believing it’s all too hard.
Maths is a great example. As kids we all started at 2+2. What happened after that was a direct result of the mindset we created about how often we’d study maths. None of us went from maths basics to trigonometry in six months. It was more like six years. Irrespective of the mindset, there was lots of practise time available to all of us inside those six years. What mattered was our approach.
The hard truths in life are unavoidable. That’s why clichés are popular, relatable, and often quite accurate. They will often represent life’s hard truths. But one truth I find fits well in the context of practise is this. Everybody wants the prize, but not everybody puts in the hard work it takes to get it. Practise is that hard work.
Hard work, practise, and commitment. It’s these three we can either roll our eyes at or take on board and admit to ourselves that, deep down inside, they’re undeniable facts Those among us who commit themselves to those three, and often, will learn and achieve and improve. Those of us who laze on the couch or stay in bed, will get squat. Well, that’s not entirely true, we’ll have the comfort of excuses.
Like I said, the mind is a trickster. But give your mindset something simple to tackle, and it’s quite the game changer. As often mentioned, I’m a huge fan of KISS theory (keep it super simple, because nobody’s stupid) and in the case of learning or acquiring a new talent or skill, I strongly suggest simple be your underlying mantra.
The Real Barrier.
We live in a highly accessible world, an age where so much is easily available. Age, gender, physical attributes, these are no longer barriers. It’s our mindset, and what we state inside it that’s dictating the levels of practise we’re willing to commit to. Allowing our mindset to contrive all manner of unachievable expectations is the first step closer toward the quit door. By combining KISS theory with regular practise, it becomes easier to keep our interest.
Dear business person, if you’re crap at sales and know it, then you need to practise sales. Dear parent, if you’re communication skills aren’t working with your kids, well, time to learn and practise some new ones. Dear person who is unhappy with your body/life/personal situation. Practise some self-love, a little discipline, and you’ll see a lot more positive change in your life. But above all else, stop thinking you’re crap, and start thinking about practise.
So how willing are you to accept this statement? It’s not that you’re crap at something, it’s the fact that you ‘think’ you’re crap, and aren’t committed to practising more, or at all.