Have You Practiced?
About 4 minutes to read
Recently I have been routinely and summarily defeated at board games by my soon to be five year old neighbour, Noah. I have written about this little guy before in 4 Tips for Powerful Conversations and the truth is I just love this little kid.
So a few weeks ago, we went out for coffee and cake with him and his mom on a Sunday afternoon. Sitting on the shelf behind our table was a box of board games and he grabbed it and asked me to play with him. Most of the games were new to him, including dominoes and checkers to mention a few. With very little guidance from the evil adults present, he beat me at each game. We packed up to go home and I was silently licking my wounds. I said to him in German, “Boy du hast mich geschalgen” and a horrified look came over his face which he immediately turned to his mom for reassurance. You see I had said to him, “Boy you beat me” and he only knew one meaning for the word “geschlagen” as in beat or hit. At the best of times, my German is not good and we went to great efforts to assure him that the way I used the word was not bad, he had defeated me fair and square.
This past Saturday afternoon and he popped over to my house with his mom. Safely tucked under his arm was another board game, this time involving geography and knowledge from around the world. He asked me to play with him and when he started trailblazing his way through the game I thought, “Oh ye gods, another embarrassing defeat from a five year old.” Luckily, this time the game ended in a draw and I wasn’t left feeling inadequate.
On Sunday, he was flying to Finland for Christmas vacation and he came over to present us with a small gift. He lovingly presented it to me; I thanked him and asked him if I could give him a hug and a kiss. He threw himself upon me and gave me one of those full body hugs and sloppy kisses that only small children can give. I told him that I am going to miss him and asked what am I going to do while he is gone? I said that in the New Year we could pick up our game playing activities and “beim nächsten Mal werde ich dich schlagen” – Next time I am going to beat you.
A funny quirky expression flitted across his face and he said to me in quite a self-composed manner,
“Have you practiced?”
I realised yet again that I was being reminded of a key life principle by a five year old!
If ever I or you or we want to become good at something, develop a certain level of mastery, we have to practice.
Now this might seem so simple and rather self-evident, but is it really? There seems to be a pervasive belief in our society that life should be easy, that we should easily attract the love, lifestyle, job, money, and friends all in the blink of an eye, without any difficulties, struggles, hard work, or mastery. At the first sign of difficulty, people start to complain and look for someone to blame or question why is everything not just simply falling into place.
Now do not get me wrong, I fully believe in the Law of Attraction! I believe that what we think is who we become, I believe in energetically aligning myself to my greatest desires, I believe in attracting and creating the life that I want but I also believe in self-mastery, taking responsibility, taking the first step and walking the path that I need to follow.
There is a lot of teaching that life should not be a struggle, but how can the very thing that began in a struggle (childbirth) not require some struggle along the way. It is in the doing it once, doing it twice, doing it umpteen times that we learn, gain experience and become masters.
I have wracked my brain trying to think of one person who has achieved something worthwhile or even enlightenment without the practice, without the work, without some struggle – and I cannot think of one! Now some of you might say, “Oh yeah what about Joe Soap, he played the lotto and won millions” this might be true but there was some pain or some desire that pushed Joe to buy that ticket. It never miraculously floated from the sky into his grubby little paws.
My question now is have you practiced.
Take a moment to ask yourself this question. You know that relationship you want to have, the one that is so much better than the one you have now… have you practiced in the one you have. Have you mastered the elements of relationship?
What about your job? Have you practiced so that you can become more proficient and gain the promotion or salary increase you think you deserve? Have you become a master in order to gain what you desire?
This question could be applied to every aspect of our lives. Have you practiced? You see life is wonderful and miraculous and often time’s serendipity seems to play a massive role in what occurs around us, but this is not without our involvement. If you want to have the best life you can possibly have, you have to practice. You have to keep working on yourself, your dreams, your goals, your hopes. An amateur thinks he can just pitch up and do something with a lick of hope and a dollop of love but a true professional, a master, knows that you have to practice.
Therefore, as we start moving into a new year, look back and evaluate the things you want to do differently to move your life forward. Ask yourself the question, have you practiced, and if you would like my help as a coach please give me a call I would love to help you on your journey of self-mastery.