Mastery takes practice.
If I wanted to become a really good piano player, naturally I’d need to learn how to play the instrument first. I’d start off by taking lessons then from there, I’d have to practice – and a lot!
My piano teacher would most likely cringe as my fingers initially struggle to hit the right notes or to find the right keys.
You gain strength with perseverance.
I’m sure the piano teacher would happily see me off with instructions to “practice” as much as possible before the next time I’m due for another a lesson. Secretly hoping I’ll improve a lot so they won’t have to endure the strain that my off-notes would cause them! 😝
Over the weeks and months, I can see myself sitting at the piano – persevering to practice, practice, practice. Still hitting incorrect keys, still not getting the tempo just right, and perhaps even missing entire sections of the music. But slowly over time, it would become more natural and easier. I’d get better, maybe have some bad days, some incredible days – but overall, I’d get better.
We’d all probably agree that if my husband passed by while I was practicing the piano, he’d maybe put his hands over his ears, but think “She’s practicing playing the piano!“
Then if someone walked by my open window and heard me repeating, somewhat pathetically, the same song over and over again, they’d say “Geez, that lady needs to practice more!“
Furthermore, as the student, I’d realise that I’ll hit a lot of bum notes at first. I might even get frustrated, feel sorry for myself, and stop practicing for a while.
But then I’d start to think about how fulfilled I’ll be when I achieve my goal – which won’t happen if I just throw away the challenge of practicing.
So I’d shake it off, head back to the piano and try again. I’d persevere.
Recognition of this perseverance.
My fictional piano scenario makes sense right? We can agree that if I want to master something in my life – like playing the piano – I need to first learn how to do it then practice, practice, practice.
And we’d most likely agree that most who see or hear me during that time will understand, “She must be practicing playing the piano“.
Now, let’s shift the focus of my imagined scenario to something else. Instead of picturing my goal as wanting to become a good piano player, the goal is: to master being a more positive person in life.
With that as my goal, what do you think I’d do? I would learn how to recognize the things which release my joy and then practice doing more of those sorts of things.
Just like playing the piano, I’d need to learn the basics first: what blossoms my inner happiness? Then after that, I would practice those ‘things’ as much as possible.
So if, in this scenario of me practicing positivity, my husband saw me mentally searching to find something positive after digesting bad news, which should he say: “She’s not being real!” or “She’s just practicing being more positive!”?
Then what if a friend saw I wasn’t feeling great, but noticed I was saying specific things to stay focused on the good things I have in my life. Should they say, “She’s just fooling herself!” or “She’s trying to maintain her gratitude!”?
There’s enough judgement and negativity out there, so even if our mind says otherwise, deep down we already know the answer: we should always acknowledge a person’s perseverance to practice being positive in the face of an already challenging life.
Take every chance to practice.
When faced with adversity, of nearly every kind, we have to remember that that is our chance to practice all the things we’ve learned about – and wish to aspire toward – with positivity, inner happiness, gratitude, and joy.
We cannot expect to achieve Mastery in our lives – which is to embody positivity, happiness, love and joy – if we’re not willing to practice them when things get difficult.
Now, this isn’t to say that when something bad happens, you simply pretend it away. If the house is on fire, don’t be like “Oh, the flames will die down!” For real, you need to acknowledge what’s happening and get yourself to immediate safety!
That applies to practicing positivity as well. It’s extremely important that we first face whatever challenges we have in life. We all have difficulties, negative moments, ‘bad’ days or even weeks.
But as soon as we’ve taken ‘stock’ of what those challenges are – and what we need to to overcome them – it’s then critical we practice stepping up and out of the murkiness we’ve had to endure.
So if and when that happens, we should honour all those who are persevering to make those positive steps. Reserve our judgement and remember that they too, are doing their best to practice being the master of their life.
We would never say, going back to my piano-practice scenario, that I was “faking” or “not being being a real” pianist if I persisted to hone that skill. Of course not, we’d all say, “She’s practicing“.
In a world that constantly pulls us in many directions and tempts us down different paths (of which don’t all lead towards the blossoming of our joy) we each must decide for ourselves: is it a worthwhile pursuit to practice positivity, self-worth and inner-happiness?
I think so. Because just as we would do if we wanted to master the piano, basketball, meditation, knitting, painting, dancing, and so on – we know we must practice to master that skill.
So practicing those things which help us to radiate joy is a worthwhile pursuit because when we’ve practiced being positive within – acknowledging and honouring ourselves, seeing the good in ourselves and others, recognizing that ‘this too shall pass‘ – we can then ‘cut’ through the noise, disarray, and confusion around us.
We will see clearly what others cannot. We will act sublimely when others are unable to move. We will shine our light when all else are in darkness.
So please, keep practicing to allow, embrace, and embody positivity in your life. It won’t always be easy and at times might seem awkward – but you’re worth it and it’s time you owned it.
So no matter what anyone says, keep practicing #biglove.