We start out to do something we have never done and expect ourselves to execute perfectly the first time.
This is often our stopping point. It’s where we give up. We say to ourselves in hushed tones so that no one will hear us: “ Obviously, I have no skill at this., I might as well quit while I’m ahead.”
When our friends ask how we are doing with it, we escape from that part of the conversation as fast as we can telling them it just wasn’t the right thing after all.
How many times have we given up too soon – on a project, getting to know another person, learning something that interests us?
If it’s hard, we’ve entered the danger zone; practice.
The culture doesn’t exactly help. Technology, through the efficiencies it provides, has us thinking that we should be able to complete a challenge fairly instantly . Suddenly, our expectations are way out of alignment and we don’t even realize it.
The word practice is out of vogue. Everything we see and hear looks crisp, elegant, perfect – and we hold ourselves to that standard, never realizing that what looks like instant success may have taken years of trial and error to produce.
Practice is not spoken about as much these days, but it is a key to shifting and changing the world as well as our own personal world. It will seem hard at first, but if you stick with it, it gets more interesting and easier.
Think of something simple that you might never have dreamed you could do. It might have been to run a race when once around the track left you breathless at first. As you practiced, you gained rhythm, you learned to pace yourself, you learned to breathe more effectively and suddenly you were running 3 or more miles easily.
Apply that lesson in other places- to the things we believe about ourselves, our capacity to participate in larger solutions by starting small, to our confidence and courage – to our listening to others and to our reaching out.
If you can’t tell a joke to save your life, learn the elements of good joke telling then practice every day on someone who needs a laugh – give them permission not to telling them you’re learning that skill – you’ll have a more understanding audience.
You’ll find sources of jokes abound on the internet and you will start to understand the elements of humor so well that you may start to create your own jokes or at least see things through the lens of humor- not a bad thing in these perilously volatile times.
If you need to, start with something so ridiculously simple that you think that anyone could do this- thank someone every day. You’ll be amazed at the results and you may get addicted to the power of encouragement that recognizes and appreciates those around you.
Decide to make a difference, starting with your own life, with your own precious self. You are worth it and the world will be the better for your decision.