If It’s Not Hard – You’re Not Practicing

Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. ~ Vince Lombardi

by Pete Ferguson

My kids are all very into music. Each plays the piano, and then another instrument (except two-year-old Miles who plays everything …)

Whenever a new piece is assigned by our very masterful teachers, it is really hard for our kids to adjust. They have fallen into a rut of ease with the previous pieces they have played almost to memory – but what they haven’t remembered is how hard it used to be.

We were discussing it on Sunday as we were winding down for bed. Mark had just been given a particularly challenging piece for cello which requires jumping from string to string within a bow movement as well as jumping all over the fingerboard.

I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before. But it’s true – hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don’t love something, then don’t do it. ~ Ray Bradbury

I told Mark that if Steph and I went to the gym every day and used the one-pound weights we might feel really good about ourselves, but we’d get bored quickly and we certainly wouldn’t gain much muscle in traditional lifting.

And so it is with life. At work I’ve stretched far, been outside of my comfort zone, and felt unsure about where things were going. But then as I look back on my successes, I see that the lessons were learned and progress has been made.

This will be my 181st blog since May of last year. Over the summer there were many days I thought about quitting. With only 18 people viewing, I felt it wasn’t worth the time and effort. And it was uncomfortable throwing myself out there.

But then several of the 18 people approached me and thanked me. So it was worth it to them … good enough for me.

I don’t know if I practiced more than anybody, but I sure practiced enough. I still wonder if somebody -somewhere -was practicing more than me. ~ Larry Bird

Now writing comes with considerable ease – which means it is time to do something that will push my comfort zone again. I am thinking that it is time to put together the most read and commented blogs into a book form, then edit it together into one collection.

Work is crazy busy, and I need to continue with my commitment of four blogs a week, so it is outside of the comfort zone for sure. Then there is the “what if no one wants to buy it” and all of the other self-doubt that can be demoralizing.

But on top of writing this blog, I just helped a friend edit a book, so I’m feeling a bit bold.

The most popular blog so far, hands down? Ironically: “Why it is Time to Man (or Woman) Up!

So I guess it is time for me to Man Up and get going! My brother works for a well-known publisher and has been writing a novel and just signed on a literary agent. I think it would be fun to compete a bit. He will be going the traditional route, with the might of a publisher behind him as well as his experience in the business. I will be self-publishing on Amazon but you are part of a crowd who has stumbled upon my writing, found a commonality, and continue to read and subscribe – thanks by the way!

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

~ Neale Donald Walsch

Okay, now I’m out of my comfort zone and realizing that by writing here, I’ve just committed. I’ll need to put a date on that commitment shortly and timeline of what needs to happen to get there.

What is outside of your comfort zone that needs a gentle nudge? Post it for the world to see!

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3 thoughts on “If It’s Not Hard – You’re Not Practicing

  1. thanks for this post. i find that deliberate practice makes all the difference. it isn’t the hours you spend with the cello, or the pen, or the ball, rather it’s how you practice, how you’re handling your errors on your way to mastering the thing. tony

  2. Pete, I am excited for you in this endeavor! Thank you for pushing beyond the comfort zone and inspiring us to do the same. I look forward to having you on the show tomorrow!

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