Practice being who you want to be

Practice being who you want to be has been the saying on our kitchen chalkboard this week.

You get better at what you practice. If you practice the right things you get better at them. Holly, our softball pitcher, won’t get better at pitching just thinking about it or hoping to get better. She won’t get better at pitching by playing with her iPod or talking to her friends or going to the movies.

To become her best as a pitcher she needs to pitch the ball. She needs to do her warm ups and her preparations. She needs to exercise. She needs to be around good pitchers and learn where she can improve. She needs to put effort into it.

I read that almost anyone can become good at most things with about 500 hours of effort. With that amount of effort and dedication you can usually say you are good at something. (That is except for me playing the guitar!) Think about how many classes in college it takes to get a bachelor’s degree…

However to move above that first level of achievement and set your self apart from others who are “good” it could take 2 to 4 times the effort to improve another 10 to 20 percent. That’s like getting a master’s degree. Then to move into the truly professional level it could take ten or twenty times the effort again! Hello, you just earned your doctorate…

I like that description to measure what it takes to get good at something. It’s also a good way to remember that proficiency takes a lot less work than becoming a professional or specialist..

So often we practice things we don’t want to improve in. Things like procrastination, negativity, gossip, vulgarity, over eating and envy all come naturally, but how much time are we going to practice them?

Do you want to be physically fit? Do you want to be respected for your skills or your talent? Do you want to just be be good at something, or do you want to be exceptional?

Practice being who you want to be and you’ll have a chance to become that person.

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