Practice Makes Habit

Many of us have heard the phrase “Practice makes Perfect.”

From the outside it seems logical. 

If I want to be perfect, it would require me to practice. 

The question is…

“What is perfect?”

Another question you might ask is…

“Is perfect possible?”

Gymnasts are judged often on virtuosity. Essentially the scale of “perfection” for any given movement. 

Many people can do push ups, but are you doing the perfect push up? What does it take to achieve the perfect push up? Foot position, core position, hand position, loading of the hands, elbow position, neck position, and so on…

How many people think about all of that in a push up? 

My experience would say, not the majority. 

So if we might find it hard to identify what perfect is and we assume perfect can’t be obtained because there’s always a way to improve. Then where is the wide ranging applicability to that statement?

I had the pleasure of attending a Greg Nelson seminar on wrestling recently and at one point he made the statement..

“Practice makes habit.”

Now that is a great phrase. I have heard the phrase before but I don’t think I was ready for it at the time. Now I am. 

We can train a specific reload with our weapon, or a certain snatch technique, or style of writing, or the way we communicate with others. This training builds habits. Works us closer to “You will most likely do it this way whenever you do it.”

That said, I don’t believe it leads us to perfection.

Is that reload technique the best one for your context, your body type, your weapon, etc? If you answered yes, how do you know? Have you trained others? Did you train them enough to attempt to achieve “perfection” before deciding to do another? Who decided what perfection was for that specific technique? 

The same goes for the snatch technique, or the way you write, or the way you communicate.

Who determined perfect? Does their interpretation of perfect, fit your context?

Everyone is different and every day is different. As we grow the context changes. So do the goals. Is it safe to say that the fluctuation and fluidity applies to our perception of perfection?

I am getting hypothetical and dare I say philosophical, but words matter. 

If we change that one word “perfect” to “habit” it completely changes the mental imagery of that phrase, the feeling it gives you. 

The unattainable begins to shed away and it is replaced by a process. It strips away the vague positive emotion and boils it down to simple terms. 

The more you practice, the more you are likely to do things that way. 

No right or wrong. Just consistent experience.

Be good, train hard, stay safe

-aaron