I remember that, as a child, I would get real excited when given the opportunity to “play” in a sport that I wanted. I’d go to practice and really “leave it all out there”. The problem was I’d get tired, make mistakes and begin to question my ability – when my natural talent couldn’t compensate for what I wasn’t learning. You see: By rushing through something, albeit out of interest, I was ignoring the lesson practice had to teach me; consequently, I wasn’t maturing in the sport – at least not as my potential would allow.
There are a lot of reasons this happens to people. The end result, usually, is they lose interest, get discouraged and quit. They give up on that interest and dreams and desires that lead them to start.
So, let’s talk about something that impacts a majority of these people and clarify something that can help you in your (joyful) journey toward reaching your goals: consistency.
In Wing Chun we say: Practice doesn’t make perfect. (After all, if you practice wrong every day, you’ll learn to do things the incorrect way.) Perfect practice makes perfect.
What many fail to understand is that rushing through training and/or binging (i.e., continually doing something without regard to your disposition and the activity’s consequences on your be-ing) isn’t how we overcome our shortcomings in order to achieve perfection. Many believe that, despite fatigue, tension or environmental stressors, they must “keep going”, keep practicing, keep trying. . . . They believe that this is the only way to overcome a hurdle and “reach the top” (i.e., be able to practice perfectly). In the process, these same people fail to see the opportunity to perfectly practice what they need to be practicing in that very moment.
This happens to all of us at some point in our lives. It’s important that we learn from it. Here are a few tips to help you perfectly practice:
Have a good guide to help you define where you are and what you need;
- Clearly define where you are and what you need (sometimes this happens after we’ve started training, and we have to switch what we’re doing to practice what we need);
- Stay focused, but don’t ignore changes in your self and environment;
- Adjust as necessary to changes (e.g., stretch when necessary to avoid tension, or clear your mind and focus your breath when stressed or distracted);
- Take breaks as necessary;
- Pace yourself;
- Let go of preconceived notions and learn from what’s in front of you;
- Keep a journal and share questions with your guide; and,
- Don’ be afraid to fail. (Some of the greatest lessons of life are taught in our failures.)
Any excess activity (i.e., binging) can harm any one of us. Self-defense, by its very name, requires we defend ourselves from such activities. And, this is where pacing yourself, trusting in the process, and applying yourself to the process (i.e., journey it takes to travel from point A (where you are) to point B (where you want to be)) through consistent, perfect effort will inevitably see you to achieving your goals.
Empower yourself to life!™
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