“The four laws of learning are explanation, demonstration, imitation and repetition. The goal is to create a correct habit that can be produced instinctively under great pressure. To make sure this goal was achieved, I created eight laws of learning; namely, explanation, demonstration, imitation, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, and repetition.” -John Wooden
When I was a boy I would constantly challenge myself out in the driveway to make foul shots into the basketball hoop we had. I would shoot foul shots all of the time, sometimes hours would pass by. I would set goals like “I am not going inside until I can make 10 in a row.” I would practice and practice and practice. I never became a pro but I got better.
As time has passed I tend to find myself believing that I need less practice because I am older or more accomplished or maybe just because I am a “grown-up.” The end result is an acceptance of mediocrity in a great deal of little things in my life. I pick up new hobbies or ideas and immediately put them to work without practicing them like I did as a child.
I feel this idea of practice through repetition carries almost more use now than when I was younger. Today I am not so interested in being a great free-throw shooter but I do want to be a better human. What this means to me is that I need to take the time to challenge myself to be more principle centered, more forgiving, more honest, more caring and more loving. I just cant assume that since I comprehend these things I will be skilled enough to use them when I am put in a position of pressure just because I understand them. I need to constantly find ways to practice through repetition.
Affirmation: I know that I am my habits. Today I choose the highest and best self I can imagine.
Call to Action: Determine one principle or action that you would like to better learn in your life and take one minute out of each hour and focus on it. Find a way to take action on that principle and put forth the effort. Know that the work you put in will allow you to better respond when the old habits would seem to be easier. Share what you are building through practice below.
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