in high school, i strongly disliked the days when we got to leave early for a soccer game, track meet, or gymnastics competition. and even if we didn’t get out of school early, i still disliked days that included a sports competition. i liked the sports i was involved in, and i especially enjoyed practicing; competition however, just wasn’t for me.
i was always coached to try my hardest every day during practice to better prepare myself for the actual competition. i liked that. and in fact, i liked all of the conditioning and drills we had to do-even if i never was any good at them. in a sport, you are taught movements to practice in a conscious, deliberate way. you are taught to push yourself to be better.
i decided that i missed practicing.
today was meaningful because i realized that life is like a sport. the whole point of practicing is to continuously work to get better, to improve. isn’t that what life should be like too? i may not have enjoyed competing against others, but i do like competing against myself. in fact, everyday, i try to better than i was yesterday. but it takes more than wanting to be better, it takes acting. it takes motivation. and it takes daily effort. and the only way to do so is through practice.
what is it that you want to get better at? be better at?
and what are you doing to get there?
practice being nicer. being more patient. being more giving.loving.kind.healthy.honest.happy. you may not realize it, but you already are practicing something on a daily basis; what the results are however, are up to you. if you get disappointed by every trial or challenge, mad at every interruption or small incident, or inpatient at every setback, maybe you are practicing how to be unhappy…how to be less than satisfied. and i think this kind of practicing sets you up to lose. why not try to get better at something besides negativity?
if you are trying to be a better person then you must consciously, deliberately, practice doing so. smile when you are sad or give when you can’t. eat healthy when you want sweets, offer praise when you want to curse. wherever it is that you want to go, the only way to get there is by taking that first step.
and just like sports, you can be as good or as bad as you want to be. you can view every loss as complete defeat, or see it as a challenge to get better and work harder. and while i understand very little about athletics, i do know that the only way to get better is to try.
i think life works the same way.