Why You Should Stop Planning and Start Practicing

Yesterday I wrote about coming home from those vacations we take away from our dreams.

You and I may be ready to stop escaping from our goals and dreams but we don’t know where to start.

The answer is both simple and laughable.

We have to start a practice.

Now, I know that a practice is usually something that only professionals have. Professionals and yogis.

I’m neither a doctor or a yogi and I have no interest in pursuing either of those paths but they are doing something right.

Something that we can all take a lesson from.

They practice. Not only that but they have practice.

One of the reason that lead us astray and away from our dreams is that we forget all about the importance of practicing.

I know I do.

Dreams are flimsy things. They lack structure and we never know when a monster will appear to tear us apart.

Trying to go after our dreams and goals in our daily lives is very much the same. Only swap the monsters for car trouble and sickness. Sometimes we create our own monsters too. A bored mind, a fearful unconfident disposition and up we go. It’s not a pretty escape.

It’s not always easy or possible to come up with a plan.

Let’s be honest. Sometimes we just don’t want to. 

Plans are scary. Once they’re made, we actually have to follow through. Otherwise we’ve failed at yet another thing.

I’m personally a big plan maker.

A big plan doer?

Not so much.

But there is one thing that I can do well, practice. It must be a remnant from my gymnastics days. I could fall down and get up a hundred times because I was only practicing.

Turns out, lessons from gym class apply to most things in life. (Who would have thought?)

Here are the three main reasons why I’m ditching my addiction to planning in favor of establishing a practice.

Number 1. I don’t like deadlines.

I’m a rebel at heart serial procrastinator.

If I set myself a time to finish anything, it’s not going to happen.

I don’t listen to orders. Especially from myself.

I can tell myself that I have to finish this post before going to bed but I know that the stronger I chastise myself about it, the less likely it’ll actually happen.

However, if I tell myself that I’m only working on building a writing practice, I can manage it.

Which brings me to my number 2.

I hate to suck.

I’ve told myself that this post sucks at least a dozen times (that’s only counting today). In my dreams, I only write perfectly coherent uplifting inspirational pieces.

This here, is reality.

I’m practicing writing my ideas out and trying to make sense come out on the page.

If I had planned to write a 500 words post about setting up a practice, I definitely would never have finished this post.

We all have expectations about our work. We want to be intelligent, witty and wise. All at the same time nonetheless. 

By expecting myself to be everything, I can’t be anything.

Number 3. Practicing is for everyone.

Not everyone can be multimillionaires or famous. Not everyone can write a best-seller. Or play the violin very well.

However, we can all get closer to the things we really want if only we would stop making them the end all be all.

Everyone is imperfect, but we can all do something everyday. We can all practice something.

After all, “practice makes perfect”.

What is your practice? Are you more of a planner or a doer?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.


*Photo Credit: Terri-Jane flickr Creative Commons 2.0


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