To become good at something it requires an extreme amount of practice. To become great it requires even more. Practice can be viewed in many ways, but ultimately it is the repetition of becoming all that you are capable of becoming. Notice that the professional athletes practice much more than the amateur ones! It’s vital. Without proper practice you will not progress in what it is you are trying to achieve. You will never be perfect, but you can make progress everyday. If you strive for perfection you will fall short. If you strive for progress you can achieve it. Give 100 percent effort 100 percent of the time. No exceptions.
Since I am a martial arts instructor this is what I firmly believe in. I follow the same code of conduct that I expect out of my students. I follow everything mentioned above and my students are required to do the same. Wynton Marsalis wrote the 12 Rules of Practice and I figured for this article I would share that with you.
The 12 Rules of Practice by Wynton Marsalis
1. Seek out private instruction. It could take years to figure out what a good teacher can show you quickly.
2. Write out a Schedule. Include fundamentals always.
3. Set Goals. Chart your development. Challenge yourself.
4. Concentrate. Develop the ability to FOCUS. Do not just ‘go through the motions’.
5. Relax. Practice Slowly.
6. Practice the Hard parts Longer. Confront your deficiencies.
7. Play with Expression. Give yourself over to what you are doing. Do everything with the proper attitude. Do not be a cynic. The attitude you play with is your style.
8. Learn from your Mistakes. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Resolve to improve each day.
9. Don’t Show Off. Expression, not tricks and gimmicks. Showing off misses the point of group playing.
10. Think for Yourself. Respect your teacher, but think things through for yourself.
11. Be Optimistic. How you feel about living is who you are.
12. Look for Connections. The more you find similarities in things that seem different, the greater the world you can participate in.