I used to hate hearing that as a kid when Mom would say that in reference to the piano lessons that I detested. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the piano, it was just that I hated the weekly lessons with the teacher’s expectations exhibited through critical eyes. At least that was how it felt.
But as unpleasant as that may have been, the statement “Practice makes perfect” is no less true. It may be evident in how well a football kicker has prepared in the off-season, for maybe his one appearance in the game. But his practice at making field goals pays off and wins the game.
Or perhaps it is the accomplished musician, who performs exquisitely as a result of all of the hours of practice. Then again, maybe it is not something quite so visible. Maybe it is the teacher who helps students rise to the occasion at learning math because he or she has committed time and effort to mastering their craft. Whatever it may be, practice certainly pays off.
So, I have two questions with regards to this issues of practice. 1) What are we practicing when it comes to our attitudes? Do we run with impatience and frustration or do we choose compassion, humility, and kindness? And 2) are we spending our time developing habits that support our stated goals or are we watching mindless TV for hours on end?
Asking ourselves these questions and contemplating their impact will likely affirm what we are practicing or may cause us to reassess the direction in which we are heading. The one thing for sure is – the qualities we practice, we will make perfect.