Equanimity, Thoughts

The practice of life.

Why not call life a practice?

The mastery of life is something many people try to achieve. Some people think that if they do things in a certain way or order, that life will eventually become easier for them. That is normally not the case. Life is hard and with every new situation, comes new challenges to overcome.

I like the idea of thinking of life as a practice. Lawyers practice law. Doctors work in practices. Both career paths are critical paths and hold the lives of others in their hands but we call what they do, practice.

What does it mean to practice something? Well, someone ma`y practice an instrument in hopes of becoming proficient at it. But can you really master an instrument? Yes and no. Yes, because you can master the known but new musical combinations are always being introduced and there for you must continue to practice. Also, if you don’t practice, you may lose the skills you have gained and then would need to relearn all that was lost. This happened to me and Spanish. No practice = No hablo espanol 😦

We put so much weight on lawyers and doctors that we forget that they are human, just like us. We should put so much on them that we forget that what they do is practice (learning new skills, while retaining others).

We also put so much pressure on ourselves to perfect skills that we end up burning ourselves out. We are all practicing. Whether you are practicing in hopes of mastering a skill or practicing just to survive, we should see things as they are and not stress about not doing well or not doing as well as others.

According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death (heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide). We practice living. Life offers lessons and with each lesson, no matter the outcome, we should practice and grow for the next lesson. It’s okay to make mistakes during practice. Mistakes offer opportunities to do better next time.

There was a gospel group called The Gospel Keynotes, that sang, “this is just a rehearsal (when we get to heaven) we’re going to really sing.” You may not believe in an afterlife but the message is the same. Life is not mean to be the final act but an arena where we can wake up every day and make it better than the previous days.

Practice makes progress, not perfect!

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