Practice Makes Effortless

They say practice makes perfect. When you see masters of anything, one thing they have in common is that they appear effortless.

You know that they spent countless hours immersed in the craft. They engrained the activity so thoroughly that it’s become muscle memory. It’s become part of their “normal.”

Whatever is normal is so close and familiar that it becomes part of you, your identity. I identify as a songwriter and guitarist. I’m not ready to declare myself a master but I’ve done it enough to make it my identity. To those who are in the earlier stages of development, I probably appear effortless.

Everyone struggles when starting out. You are not familiar enough to know where the effort is needed and where it’s counter-productive. You look the opposite of effortless: awkward. This isn’t to be begrudged or embarrassed about. Heck, we find it heartening, and relatable, to see someone struggle but keep trying.

But I found that it’s possible to get entrenched in struggle. You toil and wrestle so hard that THAT becomes the normal, part of the identity. You may be learning and growing but you can’t make it effortless because your view is so set on the strain. You are not being challenged if it’s not painful, right? I took it to mean I can’t allow myself to be comfortable. Look, I am trying so hard, and hurting. I am proving to you that I am worthy of your approval and admiration.

I recognized this, and am trying to allow myself to progress toward real mastery. My system is shocked and appalled at this attempt to divorce this part of identity, and feverishly protesting.

You can’t tell the hurting to be joyful, the tense to relax, and just because those are the right answers, expect that they can enact it instantly. It’s a process. You begin by recognizing where you are entrenched. Then you give yourself permission to be something else. You focus on progress, not pain. Gradually you stop seeing challenges as strain.

Some discomfort is part of the process. But it is not the point. Be careful what you get used to. If you allow it, you can actually master many things, including life itself.

We can aspire to live effortlessly.

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They say practice makes perfect. When you see masters of anything, one thing they have in common is that they appear effortless.  🎸 You know that they spent countless hours immersed in the craft. They engrained the activity so thoroughly that it’s become muscle memory. It’s become part of their “normal.” 🎸 Whatever is normal is so close and familiar that it becomes part of you, your identity. I identify as a songwriter and guitarist. I’m not ready to declare myself a master but I’ve done it enough to make it my identity. To those who are in the earlier stages of development, I probably appear effortless. 🎸 Everyone struggles when starting out. You are not familiar enough to know where the effort is needed and where it’s counter-productive. You look the opposite of effortless: awkward. This isn’t to be begrudged or embarrassed about. Heck, we find it heartening, and relatable, to see someone struggle but keep trying. 🎸 But I found that it’s possible to get entrenched in struggle. You toil and wrestle so hard that THAT becomes the normal, part of the identity. You may be learning and growing but you can’t make it effortless because your view is so set on the strain. You are not being challenged if it’s not painful, right? I took it to mean I can’t allow myself to be comfortable. Look, I am trying so hard, and hurting. I am proving to you that I am worthy of your approval and admiration. 🎸 I recognized this, and am trying to allow myself to progress toward real mastery. My system is shocked and appalled at this attempt to divorce this part of identity, and feverishly protesting. 🎸 You can’t tell the hurting to be joyful, the tense to relax, and just because those are the right answers, expect that they can enact it instantly. It’s a process. You begin by recognizing where you are entrenched. Then you give yourself permission to be something else. You focus on progress, not pain. Gradually you stop seeing challenges as strain. 🎸 Some discomfort is part of the process. But it is not the point. Be careful what you get used to. If you allow it, you can actually master many things, including life itself. 🎸 We can aspire to live effortlessly.

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