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Since 1925
The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

Letters from Leah: Practice doesn’t make perfect


In athletic terms, the concept “practice makes perfect” is something that can easily be refuted. Practice helps, it certainly improves skill and maybe determination, but perfection is far too subjective to make such a blanket statement. Practice might make an individual better from the free throw line, but that same person may not showcase mental toughness when it comes to five seconds on the clock with a chance to tie the game.

Your circumstances and experience ultimately shape what is perceived as “perfect.” Your ability to overcome, adapt and maintain composure is what leads to greatness. Keep in mind, this isn’t always about sports.

Surely, sports are a prime example of challenging adversity, learning to maximize your potential on a stage that’s distinct from life. But, you spend likely 40, 60 or 90 minutes on a field or court and the remainder of the time, you engage with real life. Real life requires practice. It calls for chances, rebirth, love, loss, growth and reflection. This is where mental toughness grows.

But it’s quite difficult to overcome the difficulty amongst the noise. People will question your capability, others will look for reasons to deem you as inadequate. There will probably also be someone in life that will beat you at everything possible.

But, what I’ve learned by now is this: who cares? Challenge yourself, your own personal growth and your ability to overcome. Once you make it a habit, once you put into practice your potential, other aspects will begin to flourish.

And still, you won’t be perfect. I would never classify myself as a perfect person by any stretch. I have made mistakes, I have lost, I have fallen short in several ways. But, I still continue to practice. I compete against what I have control over, the aspects of my life that can positively impact others.

If I quit, if I chose one day to never practice in life, then that would be the day where I lose. You maximize your ability to help others grow when you learn to first overcome your internal monologue that’s telling you to quit.

While this piece has traveled all directions, it’s symbolic of life’s experience and trajectory. But, if you continue to do the work by becoming in tune with yourself, you are adding valuable practice and lessons to life’s repertoire. Each instance of climbing is rigorous and tough, but the peak is a beautiful array of visions of the future. And later, the way down can be rocky, you may have to take alternate paths to find your footing again. But one day, your feet will be solid on the ground beneath you.

There’s no call to action in this work, but more so food for thought. Practice cannot (and never will) guarantee perfection. But, if you show up to life’s experiences, then you ultimately earn necessary building blocks for self-growth and improvement. If we acknowledge that perfection is nearly impossible, we give ourselves an element of grace that allows us to continue to improve.

And maybe one day, we all can understand that it’s our willingness to embrace challenges that will dictate our lives.

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