It is the Journey of Life and the Lessons Learned that gives us Flight.
The Practicing Mind – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires
What is it to achieve some level of success based on the hard work and efforts that you have put forth? We can surely agree that some people appear to make it look so easy. If you have spent time around youth sports you may watch as some kids just pick up an implement or a run a race and proceed to win at everything they do. Other kids work hard in drills, show up to every practice and despite all the effort only glimpses of success.
If you follow this kid through youth sports and high school you will find he or she continuing to persevere despite setbacks, their fair share of numbers in the loss column, and possibly injury. Then one day you witness first hand, or read about this ‘kid’ in the newspaper and he just signed a letter of commitment to a college or made the all-state team. “Wow”, you say, “how did this kid transform to a higher level of ability?” you can count on much perspiration and hours of practice, but you can be assured there is a mental connection to their body.
The transformation of ability or skill to a level of mastery or expertise begins with a passion to pursue. This ‘kid’ can be anyone with a desire to reach a higher level of ability. They put in the practice. They become familiar with failure and become experts of their own body and mind. Success to them is neither here nor there, as they may only be paying attention to the next pitch, the next recital, or the next race.
One does not need to be a youth athlete or child prodigy. Adults can take on this same transformative ability to learn a new task, practice deliberately, and achieve a mastery.
As you read further ask yourself or provide an experience regarding:
- Areas in your life that you have practiced to reach a higher level of ability or performance.
- Did you practice deliberately, or what areas of your practice may have been used more efficiently?
- What obstacles got in the way of your journey, and how did you manage these?
Please provide a comment following the post.
Thank you, Randy Bauer
What is it to master a skill?
The pursuit of mastery is not achieved without many failures. With failure there is a story, when reflected upon, provides a lesson.
Mastery requires endurance. Mastery, a word we don’t use often, is not the equivalent of what we might consider its cognate — perfectionism — an inhuman aim motivated by a concern with how others view us. Mastery is also not the same as success — an event-based victory based on a peak point, a punctuated moment in time. Mastery is not merely a commitment to a goal, but to a curved-line, constant pursuit. Sarah Lewis
The movement forward toward a goal in any pursuit requires doggedness of effort that is accompanied by challenges. These challenges are mixed with defeat, failure and setbacks. There will be times when the effort generated has little return.
Mastery of a skill does not equate with perfection. It is rather pursued with a lifelong commitment to learning from your mistakes, and overcoming obstacles. This is where Mastery is found; the road less traveled and through the inner drive of your passion.
What is it to overcome an obstacle or fear?
In pursuit of your goal there is a discipline of the mind that acts with composure and patience despite loss or failure. To fail is to learn. To succeed is to have failed once or tenfold times.
Action to proceed along a path requires facing fear, and becoming familiar with the sensations of fear.
Fear can be disabling. It can freeze your actions and leave you in a state of indecision or hyper-reaction.
Making a mistake can leave you in fear. Perfectionism must be put aside. Focusing on your mistakes, and committing yourself to practicing on the mistakes can lead to valuable leaps over these hurdles called obstacles.
What is it to achieve success?
Being successful is not about ‘Your Natural Talent’, as much as it is related to your mindset and habits.
Why is it that the Underdog Succeeds?
Aggression: you are attacking a well-defended goal that will challenge your ability to overcome challenge.
Passion: your target is a meaningful goal.
Innovation: you will be challenged to use a variety of strategies, tools and experiments.
Social Ties: you will be asked to work together with others, sacrifice for the sake of the team, and reward is gained with achievement.
Success is often looked at as winning the game, hitting the bulls-eye, or reaching the top of the mountain. Instead try looking at success as:
- The lessons learned in the journey
- The personal accomplishments of self-discovery
- Character building
Success will not come without focused and deliberate practice. There is no success without a measure of sacrifice. Understanding that talent must be nurtured with open-mindedness and learning from your mistakes are a strong foundation for the journey.
Practice: The Connection of Mind and Body
Practice(defined): the repetition of an activity with the purposeful awareness and intention of accomplishing an intended goal.
Deliberate Practice — persistent training to which you give your full concentration rather than just your time, often guided by a skilled expert, coach, or mentor. It’s a qualitative difference in how you pay attention, not a quantitative measure of clocking in countless hours of work. To practice deliberately requires a strategy.
DISCOVER MORE ON RULES TO SUCCESSFULLY LEARN NEW SKILLS (follow the link to see the 24 rules)
There are a few Rules, that when applied early on, can help in the early stages of learning a new skill:
Rule #1: Pick a skill that you are passionate about.
Rule #6: Practice every day in short bursts.
Rule #9: Choose the best teacher money can afford.
Rule #12: Set aside a space to practice.
Rule# 22: Practice early in the day.
Deliberate practice is as much about the time put into the task as it is about the self-experimentation of what you are doing.
Ask yourself a few questions:
What am I am I thinking?
What am I doing?
How is it working?
Awareness in the Moment
Focus on the task in front of you.
Embrace the moment.
Do not be absorbed with the outcome.
Discover the connection of your mind and body.
Awareness can be given to a single action, such as in sports a specific movement or mechanics to a skill. When provided the opportunity to break down the skill to short bouts of attention there becomes a deliberate attention to the task.
The agent to change is the intention to accomplish a task, or set out on your journey.
Holding yourself accountable bridges the gap between intention and the action to perform a specific behavior.
The first step on a journey is fueled with internal drive – passion – and answer the question, “Why do I want to do this?”
You do not start on a backpack trip with some desire to enter the unknown without some well thought-out plan. This may be driven by some underlying passion, or desire of self-discovery.
The choice to become a master of a task, skill or expertise must inspire you without the end goal in mind. The path alone will motivate you.
Linked to greater well-being, the Growth Mindset demands facing challenges with a beginners mind and attitude.
Those with the growth mindset:
… find success in doing their best, in learning and improving.
… accept setbacks as motivating. They’re informative. They’re a wake-up call.
… take charge of the processes that brings success—and then maintain it.
The Problem with patience and discipline is that developing each of them requires both of them – Thomas M. Sterner
Quiet perseverance is required of yourself and others. Patience requires discipline to overcome the challenges that you will face in your journey.
The ability to slow down, be calm, and despite difficulty or adversity, move steadily forward with purposeful action is a practice of discipline of itself. As with the journey of a hike in the mountains there will be periods of hard work and sweat mixed with periods of rest and recovery. The steady climb to the summit will be rewarded with exhilarating vistas where you can reflect on your travels and look forward to what lies ahead.
The journey of success requires patience during the times when little gains are made. These plateaus will become anticipated as times to revise your practice efforts. These plateaus can also be used to take a closer look at your practice habits, mistakes that can honed in on, or just a time to recover knowing full well that greater exertion will be required in the future.
With Equanimity, you can deal with situations with calm and reason while keeping your inner Happiness – Dalai Lama
Equanimity comes form the Latin roots that mean “even” and “mind.
Whatever passes through your mind is allowed to be held with a balance of mind.
Perfection is not the end goal of Practice.
Quiet your internal dialogue with even centeredness and calm.
When you achieve equanimity within your practice there is a calming of the nervous system through activation of the parasympathetic nervous system.
The Journey in Life is filled with many opportunities to learn. Engaging in deliberate practice, fueled with passion and a mind-set of openness and attention connects the brain(mind) to the body(skill). Success is realized in the transformation to mastery each step on the path.
Action Steps for Success
Maintain positive mental self-talk in your journey. On a daily basis connect your subconscious to your conscious by repeating positive words and affirmations. Repeat a phrase like, “I CAN DO IT, I CAN DO IT”.
BUILD SELF-CONFIDENCE WITH POSITIVE WORDS.
Be a life-long learner. Continually fuel your mind with positive engagement in what you read, conversations, podcasts, and stories. There are many people out there going through a similar journey on their road to success.
FUEL YOUR MIND LIKE YOU WOULD YOUR BODY.