Thursday, August 10, 2017

Practice Makes Perfect

Many people think there is a point in life at which it is no longer necessary to keep improving -- and think that they can only get worse -- no matter what they do, so that many just give up trying.  Therefore, the prognosis for everything is not good -- as a self-fulfilling prophecy.  

They already know the outcome -- and there will be no positive surprises.  Mostly, that is their conditioning -- rather than undeniable fact.  Some people do go on improving day after day -- not by chance, but by deliberate intention.  That skews the odds away from randomness and entropy -- which is increasing randomness.

It is quite fashionable among some cohorts --to believe that life and everything one experiences in it, is random, and there is nothing one can do to make a difference -- so bad things just happen, and good things, are not what they seem.  Thus they warn, if it seems too good to be true, it is -- and so they will not even consider those possibilities as real, and actual.

In this way, they live their whole lives in denial -- that everything that seems obviously true, are false, and vice-versa.  The obvious is never the truth -- or actuality.  The mind, they are convinced, must convert everything it experiences as the actual reality -- into its opposite, and do that for everything one encounters and considers in life.  Thus it is easy to fall into confusion and contradiction -- forgetting which is the true and which is the mind making a conversion into its opposite.

The simple-minded have no energy to waste in doing so.  They simply accept the obvious as the obvious -- because they don't know better, and haven't been conditioned otherwise.  Of course, that is the tactic of advertising and marketing -- to convince one of what is not true, and deceive them(selves) into buying whatever they happen to be selling.

The world was never meant to be so complicated and convoluted.  People get good at what they actually do -- and not merely what they wish not to do -- even if it is the obvious.  That is the deception of wishful-thinking -- that it is the same as actually doing anything, especially by those who pride themselves in knowing better.  They think that knowing is simply enough, and not doing anything based upon that knowledge.  If fact, those believe that knowledge is a substitute for doing -- and even better.  So they never bother to practice and effect the value of that knowledge; it is merely enough for them  "to know."  And so they never find out the truth of the matter.

Yet that is what practice is -- finding out what is the truth of the matter, not only once, but as many times as one can -- until one can't.  When that day arrives, there's nothing they can do about it -- but until then, they do it to assure themselves they still can, and know what they can do.  They live their lives that way -- every day of their lives, instead of falling far short of when they actually cannot -- and have long given up trying -- claiming they are too old, too young, or inexperienced.

That's what practice is for -- to gain that experience and expertise.  It may not be the same as it was before -- but learning the new limits is even more valuable than dwelling upon memories of what one had before.  That's what young athletes do to get better -- practice.  That's also what the devotees of any discipline do -- to get get better -- even if it is to better learn their new limitations, as well as capacities.  

In doing so, one strengthens themselves in unexpected ways, and increasingly less in the expected and predictable ways.  That is real progress -- and not merely staying within the box of their limited expectations.  That is the ultimate intent of "practice" -- to break through to where one has not gone before, or even thought possible, and not merely to repeat the tedium endlessly -- as though somehow that is transformative.

The practice is to make perfect.


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