Nowadays, there might be a lot of lip service to the phrase ‘practice’ in regards to a number of different tasks, however I feel like there is very little content in this catch phrase. What does it truly mean to ‘practice’ something?
There is a book (I have not read it) called Atomic Habits and it breaks down larger goals and practices into very bit sized chunks sidling them with things you already do in order to achieve success in reaching these new goals. I have heard it’s a fantastic book and very helpful, check it out!
But what does having a practice mean, or to practice something? In a world where consequences are so far removed from the actual action its hard to correlate the two. How do I get from point A to point B when I don’t understand that my particular action will garner a certain response. It’s very much like physics. I’m not saying we are stupid or not smart, just that we fail sometimes to understand how our actions come to fruition in our lives.
Ok, so practice…doing a thing over and over again in order to become proficient at something…my definition. So if I spend all my time say, swimming, I will become a better swimmer without much trying. Most of the time we spend a lot of time practicing things we don’t really have an intention about getting better at, or worse yet we dont want to get better at, for example texting and driving, fighting with a spouse/partner, hitting the snooze button.
This is where intention becomes important. Intention is the rudder in a boat that directs us, corrects us and brings us back to the line we want to be on.
So practice! If we commit to spending time (being intentional) about what we choose to practice, we will get better at it. Practice throwing out something every day and you will get better at letting go. Practice keeping a surface clean for every day for two weeks and you will get better at it. But like a muscle it will fade without use. So pick three things today you want to practice and do them today. Then do them tomorrow and keep doing them until you have the ‘practice’ you want, and grow that practice muscle!
The Slow Minimalist