The Power of Developing a Practice
Many people will waste years of their lives trying to figure out what they want to do and what their purpose is, when the path to discovering that purpose is very simple.
Of course you don’t know your purpose, who does? Ask anyone who has ever achieved something great if they imagined, at the very beginning, that they would be doing exactly what they are doing now. Ask them if they understood the arch of their story line down to the detail. The answer is of course, no. We are not given a bright North Star at birth. Who we become and what we do happens slowly over time. It is the result of a bunch of decisions we make without knowing exactly where we are going.
The decisions we make daily, the things we do or don’t do – those are called practice. The purpose of practice is not to unveil some secret, it’s the smallest thing you know that you can consistently rely on yourself to accomplish. You have practices already. Maybe you practice eating lunch every day, or going to bed at the same time, or having a glass of wine at the end of the night. These practices add up to something over time or may simply keep us where we are.
Practice can be as simple as “every day I am going to write a blog, or meditate in the morning, or connect with someone.” Drip by drip by drip these things shape the person that we are.
The purpose of practice is not to be profound, it’s to get us past the decision of “should I do this today?”
We write a post every day whether we feel like it or not.
We brush our teeth every day whether we feel like it or not.
We move our bodies every day whether we feel like it or not.
If we can build generous practices into our lives, whether it’s about learning, teaching, connecting, discovering, doing – those practices lead to new frontiers and ultimately carve the path to who we become, what we achieve, and what work we do with our lives.
The amazing thing about this concept is that big achievements can grow from very small practices. You can always make the practice bigger, but you may be surprised by how very small actions done consistently over a long period of time can have a massive impact on your trajectory towards your goals, even if you don’t know what those goals are right now.