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Saturday, August 4, 2018

How Did This Catch On?

"Practice makes perfect."

Oh, would that this were so. Is there a maxim more in need of serious deconstruction than this boner? How close to perfection has your practicing gotten you? I'll start but if you leave me here all alone on this one, you're just being cruel.  

Practice the guitar, rinse, repeat, ad nauseum. Perfection? Not even close. I'd settle for being satisfied with what I can do on the instrument 20% of the time.

Practice new behaviors? Assiduously. Perfection? What a cosmic joke. I'm usually just one ego threat away from regressing back to adolescence.

In order of when they were successfully integrated, here's a sample of other practices I've anchored into my daily life: Writing, exercise, meditation. Perfection? Please!

Practice makes sense? OK. Practice makes better? Fine. Practice makes crazy? Now that's a maxim that has the ring of truth for me, at least sometimes. But perfect? Come on. How did this ever catch on?

2 comments:

  1. I long ago stopped thinking of anything as "practice". It's simply "doing". It is something I enjoy (as in music, meditation, exercise). I'm confident with repetition, over time I will often notice some change in the task at hand without looking for any concrete result. And during this "doing" period I must be either enjoying or simply focusing at task with some sense of mindfulness. For me the mindfulness usually, but not always, leads to a certain degree of peace.

    The word perfection was thrown out of my dictionary in my 30's.

    So for me, your first quote reads "doing ..... ......" And that's the end of the quote.

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    Replies
    1. Peter; I like your formulation of "doing...". Thanks, as always, for your fresh perspective. And continued thanks for reading.

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