And Practice Will Go On

by Lance Ekum on · 61 comments

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Creative Commons License photo credit: on2wheelz

“Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.” ~ Martha Graham, American dancer

A new season begins.  Spring soccer.  And that means early April practices.  Games to follow shortly.

I have a team of ten year old boys I’m coaching.  Ten year old boys = raw energy!

Practice for our spring season began this week.  In the climate we live in, April can prove to have sketchy weather, at best.  Monday evening, our practice night, was no exception.  While we had avoided the predicted snowfall from the day before, we still had less than ideal conditions.  Temperatures around 30 degrees Fahrenheit.  Strong northerly winds.  Outside on a great big, wide-open field.  Cold.  Probably an understatement.  If you weren’t running, you were freezing.  And practice went on.

Practice we did.  To build our skills as a team.  To build our individual skills.  To “gel” as a group.  To get the rust off.

In “less than ideal” conditions, we worked together.  Practiced our skills, and had some fun.  In preparation for the real thing – the games.  We are ready!

And Life

How about in your life?

What are you practicing?  And when are you practicing?  When it’s ideal conditions?  Or are you out there when things aren’t “perfect”.  Look at what you really want in your life, those things that matter the most to you.  For a ten year old boy, that might be soccer.  For you, that could be starting your own business, or volunteering for a new charity, or being the best parent you can be, or whatever it is that speaks deeply to you.

Find some time, away from all the noise and busy-ness of life.  In this space, listen to yourself deeply and honestly.  What are you hearing?  These are the things that matter deeply to you.  And these are the things, where if we practice, even in less-than-ideal conditions, maybe especially in less-than-ideal conditions – we’ll take ourselves to a new level!

You are meant for greatness!  Yes, YOU!  And it can be yours, in those areas you’re passionate about, in those things that have deep meaning.  What’s it going to take for you to get to that next level?  Where do you need to “practice”?  What can you focus on, today, that will take you one step closer?

For a certain ten year old boy, today soccer is it.  And that means practice when it’s cold.  That means kicking the ball in the backyard, when others are watching tv.  And not because he has to, because he wants to.

What is it for you?  What is it you WANT to do?

Be uniquely you.

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Hilda April 8, 2009 at 8:09 am

Wow Lance, that post packs a really powerful punch for me. I’m sitting here asking myself, am I practicing what I need to practice, consistently and in less than ideal circumstances?

I want to be a meditation teacher and run retreats, and I’m not going to be overly harsh on myself because I am practicing my own daily meditation AND I have forsaken a fun weekend of surfing with friends this Easter for a spiritual retreat that is covering some of the material on my meditation course. BUT, I haven’t been doing as much study as I need to be doing. I have been allowing other distractions to get in the way.

Reading this has made me stop and think. I need to prioritise my study more – it’s only for a few more months. It’s not good enough to study when I’ve nothing more appealing to do instead. I need to schedule the time and honour it!

Thanks for the much-needed kick in the ass!

Hilda´s last blog post..Lessons learned from Adversity

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Yum Yucky April 8, 2009 at 8:28 am

I need to practice how to fight more fair in “friendly” disagreements with my hubby. Sometimes I get besides myself and afterwards say,”oh darn, I should have responded this way instead and spared an offense.” Ohhh my! It’s so hard to do when you’re in the midst of it.

Yum Yucky´s last blog post..Danger! Hit the Pause Button, Quick!

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Evelyn Lim April 8, 2009 at 10:07 am

For me, what keeps me going on my writings and blog is the thought that I can help someone else with what I can share. My practice is also about sticking to meditation and staying aware of my thoughts and emotions. Yes, it means having to give up hanging out with my girlfriends or watching TV. But my life has changed so much better because of my practice. I’ve never been happier and more fulfilled since.

Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..Lessons Learned From The Law of Attraction

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LisaNewton April 8, 2009 at 10:54 am

Oh, I don’t envy you your coaching task. I used to teach 5th grade, with lots of 10 year old boy and girls. It’s a great age, still young enough to appreciate life, they haven’t been “jaded” by middle or high school yet, and old enough to participate in lively discussions. Is this your first year of coaching?

I’m already doing what I want, by travelin’ local and taking pictures. Now, if I could just do it full time, that would be a dream come true……………..:)

LisaNewton´s last blog post..Bikes and Mass Transit are changing Los Angeles

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Nadia - Happy Lotus April 8, 2009 at 10:55 am

Hi Lance,

I love your energy. You are so full of life and it shows in your writing. I am a firm believer in living life with passion and I do my best to acheive that goal. In the end, it is all about love. Life is short so I never want to waste any of the precious time I have on things that do not matter. Anything is possible and that is one of the many things that make life beautiful. 🙂

Nadia – Happy Lotus´s last blog post..Pain, Suffering and The Theory of Relativity (Happy Lotus Style)

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Sagan April 8, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Awesome post! I completely agree that when we practice in tough conditions, then we’ll be REALLY prepared for ideal conditions. We have to keep challenging ourselves if we want to make progress.

Sagan´s last blog post..Interpretations of Marketing Strategies: The Evolution of Advertising

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Sami April 8, 2009 at 3:06 pm

I am practicing what is important to me (ie family & friends, health & spirit, giving back, starting my business, adventure, etc, etc) even when conditions aren’t ideal but it took an unwanted divorce for me to really wake up and “get it”. It was a slap in the face but with a silver lining.

Sami´s last blog post..So All May Eat

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Jannie Funster April 8, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Well, as you may recall (from me saying it 247 times,) I’m preparing for my inaugural music CD release show / party, so that’s what I’m practicing for. I set my oven timer to get my time in. Mostly it involves going over the songs I already know at least once a day to keep fresh and confident, and the 2 songs I’m still perfecting, I smile and breathe in deeply and lovingly before sitting down at my guitar, that gets wonderful energy flowing.

As to parenting, I’m not sure where I read it recently but it’s a good tip if you start to feel a bit frazzled to “parent as if someone’s watching,” that can really bring out the best in you.

Oh, and it’s so important to practice correctly, as practicing for the sake of it without proper knowledge of what one’s intention is, can actually be detrimental.

Jannie Funster´s last blog post..Potential Regalements

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Tess The Bold Life April 8, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Oh I can feel the wind and cold. I think the memory is part of me at cellular level.

My grandson turns 12 next week and my daughter was discussing his b-day party with me while trying to figure out where to have it.

I asked her why she couldn’t have it at home. She replied, “Mom you’ve never been inside a hom with 12-12year old boys full of energy>”
She’s right I haven’t!

What am I practicing? Living on less, meditation (it takes forever for the timer to go off) and going “above the battleground” instead of getting involved in any conflict or gossip.

That’s enough for now!

Tess The Bold Life´s last blog post..My Kid Did Something Bold & Thrilling

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jess April 8, 2009 at 3:38 pm

The coming few weeks I’ll be practicing to strengthen my weak spot. Not my abs (although they can use some practice too), but to stay cool, calm and collected in an overwhelmingly busy period.

(and a good second: I will have to practice my financial faith muscles!)

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Marelisa April 8, 2009 at 3:49 pm

Hi Lance: Those ten year old boys are very lucky to have you as a soccer coach. I’ve been very good about jogging at the gym, and I’m gradually increasing the intensity every week. Sometimes I get to the gym and I tell myself: “I’m not going to be able to jog for 45 minutes today”. But then I get up on the treadmill and I do it anyway. And after about ten minutes I think: “I’m glad I pushed myself to jog today.” Happy Easter!

Marelisa´s last blog post..Make Your Workspace More Creative

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Erin Prais-Hintz April 8, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Hi Lance- What an awesome way to hammer that point home! We are about to start baseball season around my house and are completing the dancing season…the idea of listening deeply to what matters most to me and taking up the task of practicing, even when all the others are not, is very powerful. Thanks so much for your inspiration. I will be back! Enjoy the day! Erin

Erin Prais-Hintz´s last blog post..Meet My New Friend: Francois

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Chris Edgar | Purpose Power Coaching April 8, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Thanks for this post. Looking at this and at the energy you’re putting into your own practice, I feel inspired to continue practicing giving my workshop in my apartment and recording what I’m saying, even though I’ve certainly had evenings when I definitely haven’t felt like doing it.

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Barbara Swafford April 8, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Hi Lance,

I love how you’re so involved with your children and the children of others. They are all lucky to have you as a mentor.

Although I do know practice makes perfect, my biggest problem is I have so many interests, I start losing focus on that which is most important. I’m getting better about avoiding distractions, but it seems to be a never ending battle.

Barbara Swafford´s last blog post..Picture Yourself In Her Shoes

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Daphne April 8, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Lance,

I love the photo and can just imagine you as the firm yet gentle mentor and coach that these young boys need. You reminded me of college days when I had to get up at 6am in winter to get on the freezing river to practise rowing. My whole body would shake with cold for at least half an hour.

What am I practising today? Apart from work and the usual commitments, perhaps I need to practise blogging more consistently. Hmm… food for thought here!

Daphne´s last blog post..Who Is Your Ideal Reader?

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Stephen - Rat Race Trap April 8, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Nice article Lance. It was a good reminder of some things I need to practice:

Meditation
Being in the moment
Focusing
Writing, writing, writing

You have a great blog here and it is nice to check in and see a new article. 🙂

Stephen – Rat Race Trap´s last blog post..To Think or Not to Think – Your Fundamental Life Decision

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Laurie April 8, 2009 at 9:02 pm

This is a VERY timely post Lance. My business partner and I are planning our next step and came across a kind of big snag today. Now I am taking a pause to think through what I want to do about it and all the possible directions to go now. I would rather watch some TV but that won’t help now will it? Ice cream anyone?

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Vikum April 8, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Wow Lance, This article is like a spring of energy.( I can feel it flows)
“not because he has to , but he wants to “.You are reminding me of someone, another awesome Lance 🙂 , Lance Armstrong- who never gave that yellow jersey away for years 🙂 .I have his autobiography “Every second counts” with me. Sometimes he rode in mountain roads at minus temperature when other cyclers resting and sometimes he climbed them twice when he wasn’t satisfied about his time.
That made an INVINCIBLE lance.
Have a great day!

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Karl Staib - Work Happy Now April 8, 2009 at 9:34 pm

I’ve been practicing with video and I realize I have a long way to go. I was going to post a video on my blog tonight, but I realize that it wasn’t good enough. Very frustrating. I’m not giving up because it’s just too much fun. I have to keep practicing until it becomes so good that other people share them with each other.

Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s last blog post..Take Away Any Obstacles

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Liz Rosenbaum April 8, 2009 at 9:50 pm

I am happy to say that I have been sticking with one of my New Year’s Resolutions… to put my “spiritual” learning and prayer time, FIRST… before other priorities! This has meant, waking up at 5:00 every single day, so I can get that quiet time in before I go workout and before my first client comes at 6:00 am. It may not be a whole lot of time dedicated to that goal… but it’s SOMETHING! It’s 10 to 15 minutes of pure goodness that gets my day off on the right foot and gets me closer to my goal of having the right perspective on life. 🙂 Thanks Lance for your inspiration!

Liz Rosenbaum´s last blog post..Low Calorie, High Protein Lunch Idea

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Ribbon April 8, 2009 at 10:07 pm

I figure in a sense everyday is about practice…
I don’t believe that I have perfected any area of my life.
Certainly some areas are more developed than others, but I imagine to be practicing all my living years as perfection sounds like I might think I know it all.
I like what you share.
Thank you
Best wishes Ribbon 🙂

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Mike King April 8, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Love the idea of practicing life Lance. Practice is often seen as a negative thing unfortunately, but it’s the best way to improve at something. Life is no exception to that.

Mike King´s last blog post..The Imaginative Mind: Mental Creativity

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Patricia April 8, 2009 at 10:37 pm

One in soccer, one on crew team, one in tennis and everyone in music….I do remember the days and the rain delays and the smiling high energy moments. How fun is this! Thank you for the memories and thank you for being the coach parent for those of us who could not…

I am practicing letting go…
I am practicing 2.5 days of pain freedom…
I am working on dreaming the answers to my questions…what is my purpose/mission
I am practicing asking for help ( massage therapist, medical intuitive, prayer…)
I am practicing being seen and heard…as I disappear right before people’s eyes…
I am healing myself by doing a number of practices…and learning some new ones. I am a profound healer…working on me

Patricia´s last blog post..Book Review: Everything Bad is Good For You ~ Steven Johnson

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Arswino April 8, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Hi Lance, I have been exercising my body and mind to be more healthy, practicing to be a good parent and growing up my online business. These are the things that always make me passionate and enthusiastic.
Thanks for the contemplation, Lance. 🙂

Arswino´s last blog post..If Tomorrow Never Comes

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Jennifer April 9, 2009 at 1:01 am

Hi Lance. Once again you’re making me think. (That’s a compliment!) In so many ways right now I AM practicing what I want to become “perfect” at as I prepare to take SFT into the world in so many levels. I am being blessed beyond belief right now in this. I’ve been thinking though about how I want to take my marriage to the next level. It can always become better than it already is. That’s what I’m going to commit to practicing now – becoming a wife who honors and respects her husband more and returns the love to him that he has so freely given to me. I commit to practicing even when I’m “too busy” to do so. Thank you Lance for “making” me do it now! 🙂

Jennifer´s last blog post..Making a Difference – Little by Little

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Natalia Burleson April 9, 2009 at 5:10 am

For me these days, it’s about being a better parent. It’s important to me that my son have a better childhood than I did. In some ways it’s easy, a no brainer. In other ways it’s harder than I ever would have imagined to fight what was ingrained in me by my parents. So that’s what I’m practicing these days.

Natalia Burleson´s last blog post..No title

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Miz April 9, 2009 at 5:39 am

for so long I was afraid to pull away from the noise and sit and HEAR what my inside was screaming at me.

Im with Natalia.

I need to focus on being present when Im with my daughter. It isnt enough to be with her playing even as I need to BE WITH HER PLAYING more.

I know these days will be gone so quickly.

Miz´s last blog post..What’s For Dinner?

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Lance April 9, 2009 at 5:51 am

@Hilda – Hi Hilda. Thanks for sharing so much. It is about choices – what are the choices we’re making, and why. You’re making a decision on the spiritual retreat because that is important to you. And to your point about recognizing that you can improve (do more study) – that’s another great example of what we all can be doing. We can all look at ourselves and find areas to improve – the first step in taking us to the next level. Great points all around Hilda!

@Yum Yucky – Hi Josie. So, you’re not “fighting” fairly with your husband? (I’m sure this is one that many people can relate to – both husbands and wives – so you’re not alone) This makes me think of the saying – “hindsight is 20/20”. After something has happened, it’s easy to look back and see where we could have done things a bit differently. In the midst, our egos come into play, and it’s not nearly so easy. I think an important thing is that you’re recognizing that there is something here for you to look at – and that’s a great first step.

@Evelyn – Hi Evelyn. The idea of helping someone else is a powerful one. I think that feeling brings many people much joy. When we sincerely help others, and in ways that have real meaning – that is truly a feeling that most want to keep happening. Your writing does do this Evelyn – and you’re recognizing this and I can tell that is deeply fulfilling for you – I’m very happy for you. What a feeling inside, that feeling of being fulfilled!

@LisaNewton – Hi Lisa. I’ve been coaching for a few years now. I’ve had a pretty fun group of kids, and many of those kids really do want to learn and be there. And I’m lucky too, in that I have some kids with real talents, some with real speed, and many with a real desire to win. One of the things we focus on is sportsmanship and playing fair – while still going out and playing our best. Some days, though, can be challenging. If one kid gets off-task, pretty soon it’s affecting the whole team! Keep taking pictures Lisa, I can tell you have a real passion for that!

@Nadia – Hi Nadia. Thanks much! Life is short – yes it is! So, you’re reminding me, too – am I really doing that which matters? These are all great thoughts you have here!

@Sagan – Hi Sagan. Thank you! Because not everyone will be out practicing in difficult conditions, but someone will be. And how bad do you want it (whatever “it” is). Great thoughts!

@Sami – Hi Sami. Sometimes it does take a difficult event in our lives for us to really “wake up” to the possibilities of what the world holds for us. And also in recognizing that these possibilities are necessarily going to be just given to us – we have to go out there and earn them. I’m glad to hear that you’re seeing the silver lining, and moving forward with conviction.

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Lance April 9, 2009 at 5:51 am

@Jannie – Hmmm…yes, I may recall that you have your inaugural CD release coming up!!! I think this is completely awesome, what you’re doing Jannie! I’m not sure how much doing this was stepping out of your comfort zone – I’m guessing it might have been on some level though. And you’re doing something that really matters to you, and creating something (the music of Jannie’s soul) for the world to hang onto – forever! How cool is that! And to your comment on practicing correctly – very excellent point – otherwise we’re just getting better at doing something wrong. And that’s not to say that sometimes we all don’t practice incorrectly. It’s in noticing when we’re doing that, and then making changes. Hang on world, May 10th is coming quickly!

@Tess – Hi Tess. I know, you feel that cold in spirit! One of these days, our weather will be toasty warm (I think that’s July!). Having a bunch of boys for a birthday party = constant noise, running, and wrestling! You’re doing well Tess, and have some great things in your life that your practicing. It’s not about how many things your working on – it’s on the quality you’re putting into those you are working on – so this is perfectly enough!

@Jess – Ha, I could do some work on my abs too! Busy periods can challenge us. Good for you on recognizing this and planning for it. You’re setting yourself up for success!

@Marelisa – Hi Mare. Thank you! Often, it’s just about starting something – that’s half the battle right there. And once you’re started, you’ve got the momentum. Good for you on making exercise a priority, health is such an important part of our lives – and also one that’s easily neglected. And Happy Easter to you too Mare! Have a wonderful weekend!

@Erin – Hi Erin! It’s great to see you here. Yes, we just finished basketball, so I can relate – sometimes it can seem like it all just blurs together as we go from one event to the next. And to your point about listening deeply and then keeping at it when others aren’t – it’s this commitment to those things that really matter, that will take us to the next level. And for that which really matters, I think this is a place worth working toward!

@Chris Edgar – Hi Chris. Oh, what an excellent point. There will come moments in our lives when we might not want to do that thing we need to – to keep us moving forward. Much like Marelisa’s example of the treadmill and not always wanting to get on and run – a big portion of all this is just in starting. If this is something that deeply matters, it’s worth doing. Although, also recognizing that sometimes a break can be good too – to refresh and renew. Thanks much Chris, I’m finding your thought to be very enlightening!

@Barbara – Hi Barbara. Thank you. I don’t know if we’ll ever get rid of all the distractions in our life. And maybe that’s okay. Sometimes the distractions give us a bit of a renewal as we take our focus off what we may have been working much on – and this might help to give us a fresh look at it all. Of course the rub is in what’s an appropriate amount of distractions – when are we being distracted too much? This is a great point Barbara, and it has me thinking about what I have as distractions in my life…

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Lance April 9, 2009 at 5:51 am

@Daphne – Hi Daphne. Thanks for sharing your rowing story. I’m proud of you for doing that, very neat! And it reminds me of my own exercise regimen, and how I slacked off over the winter because of the cold. And you’re reminding me that if it’s important (it is), I can find a way to get it in, to work through the cold, etc. So, thank you for this, very much, Daphne! And to your idea of blogging more consistently – I think you do what feels right. I, for one, think you do a great job of getting information out there on your site….

@Stephen – Hi Stephen. Thanks much! That you have a list of the things that matter to you, and where you need your focus to be – you’re in a great position to take these to the next level!

@Laurie – Hi Laurie. I’ll have some of that ice cream! (wait…I should really go and get some exercise, you’re distracting me Laurie!!!). The idea of pausing is a great one. Sometimes the best thing we can do in continuing forward is to stop. Stop and really think about where we’re headed. Good luck to you in your next steps for your business Laurie.

@Vikum – Hi Vikum. I just wish it felt more like spring out on the soccer field!! Ah yes, Lance Armstrong. I have read his autobiography too (maybe it’s the name that drew me in!). He is a true example of doing more, and of seeing the results (the yellow jersey) because of that work and dedication. Thanks for sharing this, it’s an example that fits perfectly to the message.

@Karl – Hi Karl. I think you’re doing great with the videos Karl. And to that point – you’ve done several, which is right along the lines of the message here – of keeping at that which matters. You have a message to share of which you believe very strongly in (I do too – you’ve got great stuff) and are trying different mediums for sharing that. Sometimes things don’t turn out as planned. And then, if it matters, we try again. And again. Until we get it. Keep at it Karl, your message is one worth hearing (and seeing!).

@Liz – Hi Liz. This is great to hear Liz! Making a priority and then doing it first thing in the morning – before you’re distracted with the normal busy-ness of the day. And I love how you’re saying this – “10 to 15 minutes of pure goodness”! I can feel your deep belief in how important this spiritual time is for you each day. And it has me thinking of where I personally fall on that spiritual continuum. And how much (or little) of a priority I make it. Liz, thank you for sharing this and for making me look within myself in this same area.

@Ribbon – Hi Ribbon. No, I don’t think any one of us has perfected any area of our life. We can be working toward that, and get close, although the thing is, we can always improve. And I see this as good news – that it’s a journey. Thanks much!

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Lance April 9, 2009 at 5:52 am

@Mike – Hi Mike. “Practice life” – yes! It’s about figuring out what matters to us, and then practicing those areas – so that we can become better. And the game of life – no game is more important to us. Like a soccer game, in life we only are getting better by “practicing”. That’s learning new skills, reading, connecting, and many other ways in which we can enrich the lives we’re living! Thanks Mike.

@Patricia – Hi Patricia. Yes, these are fun times (and busy times!). We have three also, and it can sometimes be a constant rush in many directions. However, seeing our children find activities which they really love makes it all worth it. Thanks for sharing your list of what you’re practicing. And know that you’re not disappearing when you’re hear. Your voice is heard, and appreciated very much. Your list is a wonderful one, filled with many things that I can tell matter very much to you.

@Arswino – Hi Arswino. Great stuff! Health, family, and business – all great areas in which to put a focus on, and you’re doing that very well, it sounds like. Thanks for sharing.

@Jennifer – Hi Jennifer. I do know just how much SFT means to you, and that you have much passion for it. You are doing great works. And I know that’s because you believe so strongly in this message. And to that point – when you get that mix of passion plus dedication to something – great things happen. And they are! I’m excited to see where this goes, and I know also, Jennifer, that you care so deeply about this that it’s contagious! Now, about your marriage…yes, we can all become better. Marriage or relationships is a good area to focus on because it’s something that probably has deep meaning to us. I can tell you have a strong relationship with your husband already, and that it’s a two-way street. You are both very lucky to have each other, and it will only get better as you focus on nurturing what you’ve already developed. I’m going to suggest breakfast in bed for your husband – that would be a great way to start!!!! Hey, I wonder what I need to do to get that??

@Natalia – Being a better parent – that’s great Natalia! Giving our children a great start in life – what a great thing to do – and much of that is set by the example we set as a parent. We can get stuck sometimes in what was our own past, and we can also sometimes use this as a stepping stone to change for our own kids. It can also be difficult on days when maybe we’re tired, or stressed – and parenting doesn’t stop because of this. It’s a full-time job, and not always easy. But it is so worth it. You’re doing great with your family Natalia, and they are lucky to have you!

@Miz – Hi Miz! Oh, this is an excellent point. As my kids are starting to get older now – teenagers or almost – yikes! – I can relate very much to your last line of these days going by quickly. “BE” – is such a strong word here – to really be in the moments of their life – as they will soon be gone and on to new stages. Yep, I’m with Natalia too. Enjoy the moments with your daughter Miz. All of them. And thank you for a reminder I can’t hear too much – these days go quickly. We’re off soon for some good family time and adventure – creating memories that will last a lifetime – and to “be” together as a family. And I’m so looking forward to it.

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Alik Levin | PracticeThis.com April 9, 2009 at 5:53 am

Hey, Lance!
Loved the loved the title – 😉
“Practice like newbie and perform like a star” – or something similar (love the quote but cannot remember who said that).
To me practice is it. If it is not practical it is not for me. Or put it other way – turn anything in something practical.
Main themes for me I practice are:
– Intellectual acuity. Solving right problems
– Physical energy (sleep right, eat right, exercise)
– Emotional connection
– Spiritual (stick with my personal values

I practice these 4, all the rest is just variations of it 😉

Alik Levin | PracticeThis.com´s last blog post..Want To Win? – Argue, Do Not Fight!

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LifeMadeGreat | Juliet April 9, 2009 at 7:19 am

Hi Lance

I think that it is the practicing when things are really tough that shows passion and dedication. Then it is truely your “right thing” to be practicing.

Juliet

LifeMadeGreat | Juliet´s last blog post..An Interview with Tom Volkar from Delightful Work

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Bri April 9, 2009 at 7:31 am

I needed that one, Lance. I’m at just that point in my life where it’s not an easy situation to get to where I want to be. I have to try harder, give more of myself, and hope for the best when it seems like nothing’s happening. But you remind us again that if we follow the passion in our hearts and don’t give up, we can get there.

Thanks!

Bri´s last blog post..Be Green and Help Us Get Our Farm!

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suzen April 9, 2009 at 9:19 am

Great post Lance! What really speaks to me is the waiting for “ideal conditions” part – it is another form of procrastinating. I think I’ve acquired a PhD in procrastination and I’m working hard to dissolve that by just jumping in there, doing whatever it is I’ve put off (I’m exceptional creative with excuses!) and once I get going on something I become tenacious. Dates are good – like having the date of the first soccer practice on the calendar, and showing up no matter WHAT the weather is!

As you know from reading my blog, I use the 4 times a year plan for resolutions and that has made all the difference in the world for me personally. I can practice anything, or give up anything for at least 90 days – then reassess quarterly and move on, or add more to the list of things I want to do, be better at, or just practice daily.

suzen´s last blog post..Gettin’ the Finger from Grandma

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Jewel/Pink Ink April 9, 2009 at 9:30 am

I’m still a long ways away, but I try to practice what I teach to my kids 🙂

I am also practicing my new songs. Some songs I know pretty well, some songs, I don’t. I wish there was a teleprompter!!

I am also practicing how to write and FINISH a novel.

Lance, have fun these spring season. These young ‘uns are lucky to have you as coach!

Jewel/Pink Ink´s last blog post..Done!

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Mark April 9, 2009 at 9:34 am

Loved this Lance! Practice and expand the comfort zone while adding repetition leading to habit. My take anyway! 🙂

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brandi April 9, 2009 at 12:27 pm

yes. one of the many reasons I love this blog. You seem to be talking about what I am going through.

I have found with photogrpahy, something I love to practice. Not just when the days are pretty or I feel like it, but when I’m under the weather or it’s cold or I’m tired.

brandi´s last blog post..the dogs are smiling

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Liara Covert April 9, 2009 at 1:21 pm

To move beyond what you think you want right now brings you face-to-face with what you really need. This reminds you who you are and what you have permitted to distract you from the truth.

Liara Covert´s last blog post..Love can heal anything

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Jamie Simmerman April 9, 2009 at 1:23 pm

So you slave driving has a purpose does it? Just kidding. I am destined for greatness, aren’t I? sometimes it’s easy to forget that through Christ I can achieve great things, no just the ho-hum. Thanks for the reminder Mr. Lance.

Jamie Simmerman´s last blog post..Road Map to More

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Positively Present April 9, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Right now, I’m practicing happiness. It doesn’t always come easy for me, so I actually need to practice a lot. One of the ways I practice is by focusing on happy topics on my blog, Positively Present. Check it out here: http://positivelypresent.typepad.com/positively_present/

Positively Present´s last blog post..a great recipe for life

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Kristin T. (@kt_writes) April 9, 2009 at 2:48 pm

Thanks for this, Lance. After reading the Malcolm Gladwell book “Outliers,” I am more convinced than ever that exceptional people aren’t born that way, they’re just willing to consistently work hard. Your analogy about continuing to practice under less-than-ideal circumstances is a good reminder for my own life. Too often, something I want to do and planned to do gets set aside just because of one small bump in the road.

Kristin T. (@kt_writes)´s last blog post..Seder in Farmer City, revisted

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Jennifer April 9, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Hi Lance. Yes, you know my passion for SFT!

I am so blessed by my husband! Breakfast in bed is an outstanding idea! Thanks for that suggestion.

I’m thinking your last sentence might be better stated this way: “When am I going to give my wife breakfast in bed?” 😉

Jennifer´s last blog post..Making a Difference – Little by Little

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Monica Shaw April 9, 2009 at 3:19 pm

I really like how Kristin tied this post back to Outliers… being exceptional is hard work. But it’s the work that makes us, and the willingness to work at it even in tough situations. Right now, I’m practicing at being present, particularly when working or studying. I’m a glutton for distraction. I’ve been using the “be here now” strategy for staying focused and man is it tough but it WORKS. With practice, that is!

Monica Shaw´s last blog post..Weighing In On Weighing In

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bobbi April 9, 2009 at 4:15 pm

I am so glad I just read this, I am practicing life but there is something missing and I know what it is (which is great) I am practicing on getting that missing thing, hopefully it will come soon:)

bobbi´s last blog post..Her Thursday Things to Talk About: Homemade Powerbars

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Happiness Is Better April 9, 2009 at 4:24 pm

I’m practicing a few different things.

I am practicing running with the goal of running in a marathon later this year. I will also be practicing bike riding and swimming with the goal of competing in a triathlon later this year.

You’re right, the conditions are never perfect. You just need to set a goal and decide you are going to do it and most importantly, take action and GO DO IT!

Great post!
-Dustin

Happiness Is Better´s last blog post..World’s Greatest Mentoring Relationships

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Robin Easton April 9, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Hey dear Lance, this article really made me think because the things I need to practice aren’t maybe typcial. It’s not some sport or music or art or other craft. It’s consciously practicing the “art” of taking “time out” for myself, to sleep, rest, stop, hike, go to bed earlier and so forth…even do nothing at all but sit in my yard and watch clouds go by. Reading this post is making me really rethink this part of my life as something that I DO need to practice. And do so every single day.

You are so very much appreciated. I come here and always find myself being returned to my true path. By that I mean who I REALLY am inside. You are like the ballast of a ship that keeps returning me to my center, a place of balance and grounded easeful truth. You are SUCH a blessing in the world – more than you know. Well, probably you being YOU, you do know. Regardless, I’m forever grateful that you are one who listens to your deepest heart. It encourages me to do the same. I needed that today. Thank you my dear dear friend. Robin

PS 30 degrees is freeeeeeezing!!! LOLOL!!! I love it.

Robin Easton´s last blog post..The Tower of Quiet Desperation

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Amanda Linehan April 9, 2009 at 7:35 pm

Hi Lance – Wow, the word “practice” brings up a lot of ideas for me. Certainly I can remember being at a soccer practice not unlike the one that you describe when I was a little older than 10, I also used to practice the clarinet, I have to practice new skills at work – I’m practicing all the time, and yet somewhere along the way I started to associate practice with drudgery. But this post and the quote you used has started me thinking differently. I guess practicing is really about loving something and not about forcing yourself to do something. You’ve got me thinking now! Thanks 🙂

Amanda Linehan´s last blog post..The Authentic Use Of A Persona

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Davina April 9, 2009 at 11:52 pm

Hi Lance. I think I’m practicing everything I do… when I’m being conscious and not doing something mindlessly, that is. What do I want? To feel like I belong.

When I first looked at the photo you used I couldn’t help think, “Wow, are those shirts clean or what?”

Davina´s last blog post..What Have You Done for Your Blog Lately?

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Lance April 10, 2009 at 6:35 am

Alik – Hi Alik. I like that quote, too! It says to me to practice like this is all new, taking it all in. And then you’ll perform like a star! Sounds pretty awesome to me! What are we practicing? Are they the right things? And your four main themes, yes – focusing on them really covers all areas of life. Very well said!

@Juliet – Hi Juliet. If you’re willing to practice when it’s not easy – and if you do this because you really want to – then yes, there is your passion – and the right place to be!

@Bri – Hi Bri. I’m glad you’re here today. If this is something that really has meaning to you, then keep fighting this fight. As long as you’re being “you” in it all, then this is the right place for you to be. Thanks for sharing a part of your story…

@Suzen – Thanks much Suzen! A PhD in procrastination, I think I earned that degree also – with honors! So, you’re creative with excuses – see, there’s creativity right there! I wonder if that could be used somewhere else? Dates are good – you’re right, with the soccer practice once I’d set it – the only thing that would’ve stopped practice would have been field conditions not allowing us to practice. I love your idea of resolutions 4 times a year – or basically re-evaluating your life every quarter.

@Jewel – Practicing what you teach your kids, Jewel – that’s a great thing to do. Because I tend to think they get just as much, if not more, from our actions than from our words. So, you’re becoming a singing machine! Belting out the tunes! There must be a video somewhere? Right?

@Mark – Thanks Mark. That’s a great way to look at this – about expanding, or stepping out of – that comfort zone. And we then get better at taking on new challenges as they arise too!

@Brandi – Thank you! Yes, that’s it! Find something you love (photography, very cool!), and go out and practice it during the good and the bad days. You’re doing that Brandi!

@Liara – Hi Liara. Moving beyond, yes – and getting back to, or perhaps discovering, what may have been there all along.

@Jamie – Hi Jamie! A purpose to my madness…hmmmm…. Yes, YOU can achieve great things. In fact, you are, Ms. Jamie! Every day – you are doing great things. And look who you have walking with you, our Savior!

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Lance April 10, 2009 at 6:35 am

@Positively Present – There can be days, or even moments, where happiness isn’t always the easiest. It’s another thing, though, that we can practice. Thank you for bringing up that point! It’s not just about practicing a skill that we do (like writing) to get better – it’s also things like the feelings we have. Thanks much for this!

@Kristin – Hi Kristin. And doens’t that give us all lots of hope, this idea that exceptional comes from putting in the effort. We all can be exceptional, especially if we can find those things that matter deeply, and then practice them – in good and bad conditions. Small bumps in the road – it doesn’t take a lot to throw us off sometimes, does it? I know what you mean. Yet, usually those small bumps aren’t as bad as they seem…

@Jennifer – Hi Jennifer. I do know about you’re passion for SFT, and I think it’s so completely awesome that this has such meaning to you, and that you’re living it! Every day! So, breakfast in bed – glad to help here Jennifer!! Now…as for that last line above – maybe we need to vote on it??? And if it’s a tie, I’ll flip a coin and determine the winning line!!

@Monica – Hi Monica. To get to that next level, to reach exceptional, takes work and dedication. Ah, distractions – how they can sneak up and get us! I’ll check out your link shortly, as that’s an area that pulls in side directions also. I guess that’s where I should focus some of my practice on. Thank you Monica!

@Bobbi – Hi Bobbi. Knowing what your missing, or knowing where you need to put more focus on – these are important steps to recognize. So, good for you, Bobbi, on working on this. Keep at it, my friend…

@Happiness is Better – Hi Dustin. These are great things to be practicing, keeping your body healthy. And with practice, you’ll get there! Running/swimming/biking – things that put you outside, where the weather is not always perfect. A great example of non-perfect conditions. Good luck to you in the marathon and triathlon! Very cool!

@Robin Easton – Hi Robin. Oh, you bring up some wonderful thoughts. It’s easy with this to think about something more concrete. Yet, you’re looking at this from more ‘within’, and I love this thought. That’s such an important thing to focus on – as that takes us to our core, to what deeply matters. Robin, I’m sure that it’s you that gives me this grounding, and understanding for life and nature and how wer’re all related. So, thank you for your very kind words, and also know that it’s because of you that these words have come to be here. You help to take me to that place within, to a spot which deeply matters. Thank you, Robin, for always being you…

@Amanda – Hi Amanda. Oh, what a great point. What happens when practice feels like drudgery? What then? Maybe this means we’re practicing the wrong thing, or practicing the right thing in the wrong way, or just need to take a break and reassess. What is it we really, truly love. Amanda, thanks for this viewpoint – it’s one that I’m sure we’ve all faced (I know I have) – and maybe that means it’s time to really look a little deeper.

@Davina – Hi Davina. Yes, I think we all have some of those mindless moments! To feel a belonging – that’s probably something all of us want. At a deep level, a sense of belonging is something, as humans, that we crave. It’s great to have you here Davina, thank you, my friend – for your honesty today. And those shirts – ha! They must just be starting practice!!!

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Mark April 10, 2009 at 10:39 am

Lance,
I enjoyed the relation between soccer practice and the practice of life. Yes, we must commit to practice that which we desire. Thanks for this well written reminder.

Mark´s last blog post..Agony In The Garden

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Hilary April 10, 2009 at 11:48 am

Hi Lance .. I can remember (long ago) those days of being out in the field .. not wishing to be there – but once the coach got us going .. I loved it. The inspiration we were given to just get on with things ready for the next stepping stone in the process – our next match.

As you say our own lives are much the same .. practice .. we do it all the time – just do it better, with more dedication and we will jump the hurdles.

Thanks for sharing

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters

Hilary´s last blog post..Good Friday & Hot Cross Buns – do they go together?

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Maria@Conversations with Moms April 10, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Ideally, I would love to make a living out of what I’m passionate about, blogging. I’m currently on maternity leave with my second child. When I went back to work the first time, I was totally o.k with going back. This time, it’s different. I would love to work from home and take more time for my children.

I’m hoping that blogging can help me do that, though it’s not my sole motivation. I’ve met a lot of great friends online that mean more than an income could have ever provided, but still it would be nice to at least make enough income to not have to go back to work.

So every day I “practice” getting better at this blogging thing. Hopefully, I can make enough of a positive difference in peoples lives that in return, It will reward me with the ability to work from home.

I’m putting it out there. I just have to wait and see.

Maria@Conversations with Moms´s last blog post..Playing Easter Games with the Kids – PrintableGamesAtoZ

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Lance April 10, 2009 at 1:08 pm

@Mark/ToBeMe – Hi Mark. Thanks much! There’s a lot to be said for practice, and where it can take us, huh!

@Hilary – Hi Hilary. That’s a great observation. The fact of just starting, of getting going – this can be the biggest hurdle of all sometimes. And once we’ve actually started, that practice isn’t so bad, even fun! And it’s taking us to the next level! Thanks for stopping by today!

@Maria – Hi Maria. What I’m seeing here is that you have a goal, and something you’re working toward. And that’s great! By writing on your blog, and trying things there – you ARE practicing this skill of using your knowledge online. Sometimes it happens quickly and sometimes it takes a while. If it’s something you believe strongly in (and it sure sounds like you do) then putting it out there – you’re doing the right thing Maria. And I wish you well in this, and that in can lead to where you’re making an income doing this which you love.

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Omar April 10, 2009 at 6:48 pm

Anything worth achieving you have to fight through mood swings and disappointments. It’s challenging. Great article!

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Jocelyn of I TAKE OFF THE MASK April 10, 2009 at 8:57 pm

Great thought, Lance! Never thought about it before. You’re right, we really shouldn’t just practice when conditions are perfect. When we have a goal, we should be persistent and disciplined enough to carry on whatever the outside situation seems to be. Carry on! 🙂

Jocelyn of I TAKE OFF THE MASK´s last blog post..Forget Not Love (poem)

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Jenny April 10, 2009 at 11:48 pm

For me, right now I am practicing eating healthy and staying active by exercising at least 4 days a week. I am practicing to be a better person and the kind of person I’d really truly like to be and that is a person who weighs a lot less than I do now, however with 12 pounds lost and counting, I’m headed in the right direction to achieve perfection!

Such a great post Lance! If nothing else, it gave me more confidence that what I am doing is a good thing!

Jenny´s last blog post..A Tease with No Title…Yet

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Lizwi April 11, 2009 at 11:35 am

Yes, practice leads to perfection. With the necessary courage and a sizeable amount of effort perfection is sure to be attained. Sometimes it may take more time than we would like, but if we persevere we will succeed.

Lizwi´s last blog post..The name change and its possible consequences

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Anne Partain April 11, 2009 at 4:28 pm

“Find some time, away from all the noise and busy-ness of life. In this space, listen to yourself deeply and honestly.”

Yes!

Anne Partain´s last blog post..Listening to Myself

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Healthy Diet Lets Woman Lose Thirty Pounds in Thirty Days April 30, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Hi, interesting post. I have been pondering this topic,so thanks for writing. I will definitely be subscribing to your blog.

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