How do we make our future dreams reality? We need to focus on building knowledge to give us potential and then PRACTICE to build mastery.
I worry that we often miss this point. It isn’t about finding a quick fix (oh those silver bullets), and it definitely isn’t about turning our focus on other people when things don’t work out. All of these are just the diversions that keep us from building the personal skills and mastery required to compete in this new world. What’s needed?
But then practice isn’t very sexy. After all, it is kind of boring, isn’t it? And it is usually uncomfortable because you are learning how something works. And to top it off, there are no gold stars for practice, so why should I do it, right? Isn’t that why we don’t do it? We lose patience to do the not very sexy work to get better because surely, there is a faster, better way. This is just too uncomfortable. So we stop.
And stopping is what derails us.
Our focus needs to move from just discovering “the answer” to learning the process and then being willing to practice. Many of the issues we face today require a collective effort, not just an individual one. This lets us all learn out loud together, recognize forward movement as progress so we can celebrate and then quiet frankly move to the next movable piece. It is thru this mastery that TOGETHER we can create a new reality and optimize our future vision.
But it also requires us to “unlearn” what we have been taught. In school, we valued only the answer (and not necessarily the process). We didn’t get points for good questions along the way nor were we required to report our key learnings. And even though we did work with groups, it was always just about the answer, not the process that got us there.
But in life, the practice is what matters.
I love the quote from the author of Future Shock, Alvin Toffler, “The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those that cannot read and write, but those that cannot learn and unlearn.” It was written in 1970. I think it frames up one of our core issues today.
The future always arrives faster than we want and usually it is in the wrong order. So we need to be able to adjust and embrace our realities to optimize our lives and the opportunities around us. It will take a focus on our process and practice to build our skills to enable nimbleness and agility.
Memorizing answers for the inevitable tests of life will not give us a passing grade. Practice is what will build our confidence and allow us to figure it out. And test our sense of humor as we laugh at what we tried and celebrate what we figured out. Learning to think about the big things while we are doing the small things will ensure the small things are pointed in the right direction. And it is in this doing that we will be able to build our mastery to tackle the journey ahead.
Are you ready to be disciplined in your practice? It is the only way to achieve your best work as you lead your life. And isn’t that worth the effort? I look forward to hearing you from you.