The goal of practice is not to do your best work ever. The goal of practice is really just to “get started”. Every single day, we must “restart” our practice from our current level of skill, building upon all the practice sessions we have held before that led us into our last practice session of “yesterday”.
Yesterday is where we left off with our practice and today is where we must begin our practice again. There is no concern with how our performance will be today or if we are performing worse than yesterday. We simply practice and observe.
By getting started with our practice session of today, we allow ourselves to start the learning process, yet again, for another day. Then, through the power of observation, we begin to notice how our practice session compares to yesterday and we can take notes on our progress and the direction that we might be heading.
It is this observation and awareness that gives us the “opportunity of a life time” today, to look objectively or subjectively at our current performance, and refine. We look for ways to refine our skill.
For professional athletes, there is a lot of data from the last few games played for areas to work on. Some spend time refining their strengths, some work on their weaknesses, some just simply want to get “better”. I have to imagine that all strategies are beneficial. What I think is most important about professional athletes is that they “get started”, over and over again.
Whatever they want to work on, thats what they work on. They don’ waste time trying to put in a perfect practice session. They may have goals and enhancements to make their practice sessions better and better each time, but they are not concerned with their performance during the practice session as much as they are concerned with simply just starting to practice.
This idea of “getting started”, over and over again, allows us to finally experience the power of momentum in our given endeavor. Momentum is a force that builds through constant “pushing”. We are not concerned with how well a given practice session goes, we are simply concerned with practicing.
This momentum leads us into new dimensions of mastery. We start tapping into flow states, we start seeing large amounts of progress, we start having more and more fun.