Everything Takes Practice

Posted Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 12:09 p.m. by Chris Amico in Lessons From...

I don't have New Year's resolutions, really. I pick a few things I'd like to learn in a year, and sometimes I actually learn those things. Sometimes I end up on weird tangents, and sometimes those pay off.

What I do have, more by accident than intention, is something of an annual mantra, a little phrase that keeps coming back into my life and work.

Last year's mantra: Resist the urge to be clever.

I had that written on the whiteboard next to my desk at NPR. I can't remember which project inspired it, but it was a good reminder that my job wasn't to come up with the most clever way to accomplish a task, it was to get stuff done.

This year, for no reason I can think of, I've been repeating a different phrase to myself: Everything takes practice.

It's a reminder to myself that few skills are magically acquired, even banal ones, and that if I want to be good at something, I need to put in the time and the work. Or as an old sensei once told me, "The secret is, there is no secret."


feb 3, 2013 at 3:48 p.m. // sandra fish said:

Sort of the anti-Allen Iverson ethic, eh? or are you also too young to remember that classic rant about practice?!?! Still, i like it... trying to emphasize the practice concept to students (and to me, too..)

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