Jenny made another mistake on the piano as I watched with a bit of confusion. Teaching her to play the piano has been a unique experience. During some piano lessons, she displays an almost prodigy like knowledge of piano theory and ability. Other times, she just stares at the sheet music in confusion. Those that have taken piano lessons before might guess that the lessons in which she excels directly follow the weeks she practiced daily. That’s what confuses me. Why does she not practice every day? Why can she not see her unique potential as a pianist?
Fast forward to last week. Since getting married I have sometimes felt unproductive and unmotivated. I go to work and do fine there, but when I come home, I play video games, watch TV, and occasionally do some positive actions with my time. This may seem like a decent, comfortable life, but it has left me feeling largely unfulfilled. While pondering about how to feel more fulfilled, I thought about Jenny and her lack of motivation to practice the piano. I would just love for her to practice the piano every day for fifteen minutes. I then realized; I have not practiced the piano in years.
Why do I not practice the piano? Do I not see my unique potential as a pianist? I gained a little empathy for her lack of desire to practice by recognizing my own lack of desire. I decided to change that by committing to practice the piano for twenty minutes every day. This led me to consider other areas of my life in which I could make proactive changes, and so I added a regiment of daily basketball practice as well to help give me encouragement to exercise. I have only been following these plans for a short time now, but I have already noticed a significant change; both in my abilities and in my overall satisfaction in life.
It feels good to improve at a skill. Daily practice allows for comparisons between days to see improvement, and I have seen improvement in piano and basketball every day. I do not have a specific reason such as preparing for a concert to improve my ability to play the piano. Neither do I have a reason such as joining a team to improve my skills in basketball. I do it for the purpose of bringing fulfillment and improvement to my life, and it truly brings both.
If you are like me and have been feeling unfulfilled or wanting to make better use of your time than playing video games and watching tv, try learning a new skill. Practice an old instrument you used to play a lot. Learn a new sport. Learn how to juggle. Take a class in the community like gardening, painting, or a computer skills class. Make it a part of your daily habit, and you will be surprised to see the added measure of happiness and fulfillment that it will bring to your life.
Perhaps we don’t practice because we don’t believe that we will actually have a meaningful life. Perhaps we don’t practice because it takes effort. Perhaps we have a thousand other reasons why we don’t practice.
Regardless of the reason, we can each practice and improve. As we improve, we gain additional ability to help influence and change the world, for good. Practicing builds momentum, momentum leads to direction and drive, which then results in meaningful changes, both for ourselves and for others.
The world is shaped, for good or bad, by individuals like me and you. Every path to a meaningful life is taken step by step, practice session by practice session. For most, it doesn’t matter where you start, just pick something and start doing it consistently, as this will increase your motivation, desire, confidence, and ability to continue to build on this and further improve your life.
At Believe, we love to work with individuals like you that are taking steps to progress and improve. We fully believe that you have the potential to change the world, for good. We would love to have you join us on this journey.