Here’s the Skinny (sharing with you what I send & mentor to my adult kids)…
NOTE: Words in italic are from a Seth Godin post – the rest I specifically tweaked for my kids’ consumption.
The first is quite common. Learn to play the notes as written. Move asymptotically toward perfection. Practice your technique and your process to get yourself ever more skilled at doing it (whatever ‘it’ is) to spec. This is the practice of skiing the grand slalom, of arithmetic, of learning your lines in a play, memorizing information, etc.
Once you’ve built a basic foundation of knowledge (see above), the other kind of practice is more valuable but far more rare. This is the practice of failure. Of trying on one point of view after another until you find one that works. Of creating original work that doesn’t succeed until it does. Of writing, oration and higher-level math in search of an elusive outcome, even a truth, one that might not even be there. Being bold. Being you.
We become original through practice.
We’ve seduced ourselves into believing that every breakthrough springs to life fully formed. What always happens (as you can discover by looking at the early work of anyone you admire), is that she practiced her way into it.
Everyone always asks me (even Mom), how I can be so comfortable taking risks without fret and worry. There are two answers to that:
- I strive to do my best via (what I always refer to as) faith, honor, effort & intent. If I’ve done my best in these four areas, then there is nothing more I can do. The rest is up to God. My fret or worry is then simply unproductive and damaging to myself and others around me. (If I do not give my best effort, that and only that, is what creates my fret and worry.)
- What most people misunderstand is that taking an educated-risk is far less-risky then taking no risk at all. The ONLY constant is change. And change can only be won through risk.
That’s the Skinny,