It’s often said that only 5% of people ever make it to the top of anything.
Whether that be their profession. Hobby. Or just living life.
Not everyone, of course, wants to be in the top 5%. Because it’s hard.
It takes dedication. Commitment. Self discipline. Sacrifice. And an unrelenting vision of what ‘the top’ means. And what it will mean to the person once they reach that pinnacle.
For climbers of Mount Everest, the answers to those two questions are as diverse as the people climbing the mountain.
Ditto for anyone who wants to reach the top.
Whether it be an athlete. A writer. Artist. Musician. Car mechanic. Plumber. Architect. Lawyer. Quilter. Parent.
We all have different reasons for wanting to be there.
Personal satisfaction. Making mum and dad proud. Revenge. Showing those who kept telling you ‘no’. That ‘yes’ is doable. And done.
On the totem pole of achievement, some people are very bad at what they do. Some are average. Some are good. Some are simply outstanding.
What’s the secret ingredient that separates these groups?
And the unrelenting quest to be better with each practice session.
Most people don’t view life as one big practice session.
But it is.
This is how we hone our skills. We practice at life.
I’m a baby boomer.
And my skills today. Compared to when I finished university. And started along the path known as adulthood. Are incomparable.
First. I know how to cook.
Cooking didn’t come naturally to me. But I am, today, hands down, one of the best home cooks ever.
Because I was prepared to put in the work. Research. Learn techniques. And better my results with every cake and loaf of bread baked. Dinner prepared.
I’m the only one I know who went through 300 dozen eggs before I made my first perfect crepe. But now I only make perfect crepes.
I almost flunked sewing in 7th grade in school. I got a ‘D’. Rather than the ‘F’ the teacher really wanted to give me. Which to an honour student, who only ever made A’s and B’s in school. Was a huge slap in the face.
Furious that I couldn’t read a pattern properly. Or sew a seam straight. Or make a garment without it looking like tatting because of all the holes from the seam ripping I did. I set out on a path to become an expert.
By the time I was in the 9th grade, I was the ‘Go To’ girl at school for everything to do with sewing.
I made all my own clothes. And was the envy of most of my classmates.
When I set up my first apartment. I made slipcovers to cover the second hand sofa and chairs I inherited. Lamp shades. Bedspreads. Curtains. I made all the beautiful things I couldn’t afford to buy.
And I had an apartment that was a cut above everyone else who was in my financial position.
I then moved on to tailoring. And made the most beautiful tailored suits and coats. Because I couldn’t afford to buy what I hankered after. So I made it.
I raided the library for any books that would teach me how to be a better sewer.
And I practiced. Practiced. Practiced.
With every garment made. With every slipcover made. With every lamp shade made.
I can also walk into a crowded room. Know absolutely no one. Walk up to a complete stranger. And start a conversation.
That is one of the most liberating of all skills. Knowing how to break the ice.
The first time I was confronted by that scenario, I froze. But not anymore.
The embarrassment I felt at not knowing what to do, had me scurrying to books on etiquette. And how to start a conversation. There was no internet back then. And from that moment on I practiced at breaking the ice by starting a conversation with strangers everywhere. Street corners. In shops. On public transport. Dentist waiting rooms.
Today, I am so practiced at this, I’m not even aware that I talk to everyone. As my partner is quick to point out.
Life is not about being good at everything.
But it is about being good at the things that matter to us.
The things that will change our life for the better. That will improve the quality of our life in the long term.
Not everyone aspires to be Prime Minister. Or be in the public eye. And to me, why would you? What are the rewards other than public acrimony regardless of what you do.
But I digress.
If practicing every day. In small increments. At something that you can do better. Will make a change in your life. For the better. Isn’t that worthwhile?
Practice is such a simple solution.
Your thoughts? Email me at the bottom of this post.
Masters Of The Simple Solution
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Have a question? Email me at the bottom of this post.
Or phone me, Carol Jones, in rural Australia on 02 63 588 511.
Photos of my rural property are courtesy of me, Carol Jones. They are taken at sunrise every morning. I LOVE sharing my rural life with you. It’s blissful where I live. It’s not for everyone. But my lifestyle is the envy of many of my friends. And customers.
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Black Cockatoos. In My Hectare Of Garden.
Gold In The Hills
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