The Practice Is the Reward

The Piano

I just got back from the gym. I’m learning how to do kettlebell cleans and kettlebell presses and other things that are really difficult for me. In doing this, I know that I am getting stronger, but I also know that I am working on precision of movement, and I am also maintaining my commitment to my health. It’s not like I will work out for several months, look down, be appreciative of my body, and then go back to other things. If I want to stay fit, I will continue to practice. I will eat well for the rest of my life, if I want to stay healthy. The practice, as it turns out, is the reward.

The Practice is the Reward

I’m asked quite often, “How do I get more followers on Twitter?” The answer, if people really want to know, is that you be there, be helpful, be more “about” other people than you are yourself. That’s it. That’s the practice. If you practice being there, being helpful, and being all about the other people, you will get more followers. It’s how that happens. The practice is the reward.

How does a company get more loyal buyers instead of simply transactional buyers. Practice being loyal to your existing buyers. Loyalty is a two way street. When it’s not, things fail. How do you get buyers who will choose you over the less expensive brand, because they believe that you are the choice for them? Practice being loyal and driven by their satisfaction. (By the way, companies like Zappos are worth billions because of this. If you think there’s no hard-line bottom line to this kind of thinking, stop reading my blog.)

Practice Doesn’t Merit Bragging

We groan about practice online. I did it today. I put up a picture of me in my car after my 6:30am workout, saying that it’s too early to work out, but at least I’d done the work. That’s silly. Why complain about it? I should be so honored and pleased that I found the time to work out this morning. I should be grateful that I gave my muscles something else to think about. And I shouldn’t brag. You shouldn’t have to hear my groaning or my bragging. Neither are helpful. Neither motivate you to work on your own practice. You know what does? Results.

Results Are External Proof of Practice

I’m practicing how to be a better professional speaker. In so doing, I’m reading a lot of books on how to speak better, and I’m reviewing my own work. When I do this well, I see the results. On stage last week, I was at the top of my game and my audience was right there with me. They felt it. They knew that I was giving them my everything.

But the most important point to distinguish is this: the results are just the external proof that washes off of you from doing the work. The work, the practice, is where your focus must remain. You must keep your focus on doing the work, practicing. It’s how you succeed every time. The moment you bow to the results, the moment you pause for longer than half a breath to feel great about yourself, is the moment you stop practicing, even a little bit, in your heart and head.

What Are You Practicing?

The list of what we can practice is huge. In my personal life, I’m practicing being more healthy. I’m practicing being more grounded mentally and emotionally. In my business life, I’m practicing improving my value to my customers and clients. I’m practicing giving more quality.

What are you practicing? And do you see this? Do you feel it?

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