A few years ago, I walked to an exam room door to see a 12 year old boy who was there for a well child check. As I approached the door and raised my hand to knock, I could hear his voice raised inside. I dropped my hand and shamelessly eavesdropped.
“But WHY do I have to practice clarinet? I don’t like it! You even said I can quit band after this year!”
And then I heard his father’s – quieter yet definitely exasperated – voice respond, “You still have to practice! It’s good for you. Don’t think of it as practicing clarinet. Think of it as practicing… practicing!”
In that moment, this Dad’s brilliance struck me. Music, sports, theater, debate, singing… we rarely sign our kids or ourselves up for an activity because we think the next star is about to emerge. We do it for all the OTHER skills that this one skill can teach. And one of those seriously important skills is practicing.
Or, in other words… perseverance. Yup, I’m still writing that section of the book (though the rough draft WILL be finished in a week – because perseverance).
I took eight years of piano lessons, and today I don’t even own a piano.
I do, however, know how to make myself sit down and do something for 20 or 30 minutes a day, even if I don’t feel like it. I do understand the work that went into someone else’s piano playing. And I do know how to read music.
So I wanted to ask you…
What’s your practice? What did you do or do you do that helps you see the value in repetition (when there is value)? Hit reply and tell me? I’m interested!
Practice has value. Because (sometimes) repetition has something to teach us.
All my best,