Ah, practice. That thing we know every pro has done, and every beginner is currently doing. However, we’re usually somewhere in the middle (amateur, semi-pro, etc.) and may have lost sight of what it means to truly practice. This post will define what it means to me, and hopefully give you some ideas to implement today that will get you going on how to practice.
What’s this all about? Since Chris Brogan posted about defining three words for 2012 as a “resolution,” rather than the more ubiquitous “I’m gonna lose X pounds, make more money, and win at life”-type resolutions (not knocking those, by the way–just noticing that for me, they don’t work very well…), I’ve declared my own “three words” to be Prepare, Practice, and Persist (also keeping in line with my love for alliteration).
My earlier post explained the why for me; this post will actually start talking about how I’m implementing them. If you don’t know, I’ve recentlywritten a book–a novel, basically a thriller/suspense in the same vein as James Rollins, J.A. Konrath, and Jeremy Robinson. Check out more about the project here and here.Preparing for Success
Before any success happens (or at least before we declare it to be a success), we must first define what success is. For some, of course, it’s money–though how much of it they need/want is usually a moving target. For many of us, success simply means some combination of happiness, contentment, security, and satisfaction.
That’s true for me: I don’t need a whole lot of money (thought it would be nice…), but I want my family to feel secure; to not have to worry about emergencies, medical bills, blah blah. I know that my house will serve the Lord, and that alone will provide comfort in our sadness. But as a human, and since I need to have a “day job,” I’d love for that to look less like a steady, rigorous 9-to-5 shift and more like a freeing, whimsical, running-through-the-meadow experience. Kinda.
So, I defined what “success” looks like (again this is my definition–you can borrow, but you have to make your own!):
- Serve the Lord in every way.
- Have humility and be gracious of my/our blessings.
- Have enough income that the daily, mundane, and secular things can be taken care of without strife.
- Give to my church, community, and neighbor–through money, time, and care.
- Strive to be different and better than I was yesterday.
- Always and constantly be “building something” (businesses, careers, etc.)
- Be humble. We can practice being humble a few ways: in conversation, by not thinking of what we’re going to say next before the other person finishes their thought (note: this is really hard!). Another way is to try to praise others around us for the things they’re doing well–do it generously and truthfully, or it sounds contrived.
- Be a good spiritual leader. Especially for those dudes out there–go watch the movie Courageous (sure, laugh at the acting if you must) and apply its principles in your daily life. Read the Bible more.
- Be a better writer. This one is so simple it almost hurts: just write more!
- Be a better planner. Writing everything down (see above…) helps me focus, get more done, and know what’s coming next. Planning is a necessary function of life, so we should probably practice it more!