Friday, August 14, 2009

Practice makes us perfect


Lord Krishna, while answering Arjuna's question on how to control the mind, tells him in Bhagvad Geeta that, although mind control is indeed very difficult, it can be achieved through Abhayasa Yoga (constant practice). We can draw an inference from here that any task can be accomplished if we are sincere and serious about it and practice it.

Every task looks difficult in the beginning. When I began learning driving, I found it very difficult to coordinate the hand, feet and eyes. If I had to change the gear, I would look down and the vehicle would move dangerously to the other side of the road !! With continuous practice, I became an expert driver. Likewise, when we attempt anything new, it seems like a complicated task. That should not deter us. It should rather make us more determined. As we repeatedly practice and perform it, we become masters at it.

I once heard some one saying that for every task there are four stages. The first stage is one of unconscious incompetence - when we don’t know that we are not competent. If we have not tried to do something, we may not know that we don't know. The next stage is conscious incompetence - when we discover that we are incompetent. After practice, we move into a stage of conscious competence - when we are good at doing something.

The fourth stage is the most interesting - when something becomes second nature to us. We can do it without making any conscious effort. It is like sub-consciously chanting your prayers without paying attention and the mind wandering somewhere else. After some time, we discover that we have finished chanting but the satisfaction that comes from having the consciousness is missing. It will be good if we can restrain ourselves from moving into the fourth stage.

" When you are not practicing, remember, someone somewhere is practicing, and when you meet him he will win "- Ed Macauley

"I am not afraid of a fighter who knows thousand different types of kicks, but I am afraid of one who has practiced a kick thousands of times" - Bruce Lee

"Living a life of values becomes easy if we continuously practice it with determination" - Vishwanath Seshadri

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nobody is perfect,but we can get nearer to being perfect by a lot of practice.By practice we mean that we must have the ability,dedication,determination and patience to do what we choose to do and then nothing will be impossible to achieve.
'Practice is the ladder by which we can move towards perfection'.

Tyaagi.

Subash said...

Four stages... interesting! A fifth stage could be Overconfident Incompetence! When we get overconfident in a newly-acquired skill and fumble :)

No shortcuts, but 'Practice' leads to perfection

shri ramesh sadasivam said...

Practice makes perfect.

There's an old tamil proverb.

"Art is nothing but the practice of the hands!Tamil is nothing but the practice of the tongue!"

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Only practice with discipline can help attain a certain level of perfection. Perfection is not the right word to use, perhaps, but I've used it for lack of a better term!

KParthasarathi said...

"As it is in the body, so it is in the mind; practice makes it what it is, and most even of those excellences which are looked on as natural endowments will be found, when examined into more narrowly, to be the product of exercise and to be raised to that pitch only by repeated actions"(John Locke)
There is no easy quick fix except by rigourous practice to attain material or spiritual goals.Even a roadside acrobat achieves the skill only repeated practice

lakshmi said...

practice makes perfection......
very nicely told...
and I liked the four stages for each task...........so simply and aptly told

Anonymous said...

I fully agree with this.

I am reading a book called Outliers. He has described exceptional people in his book and has maintained that they were exceptional not because they were gifted but they practiced it hard.

In 1968, when people did not see even computers, Bill Gates got the opportunity to work on computers for two hours every day (he got time between 3 am to 5 am). He had the passion to do something and religiously he will go to the university everyday when everybody was sleeping. The book has described this as 10000 hour principal. He spent 10000 hours on computers and he was ahead of the world.

Same way Arjun also was eating one day in the dark. He realized that if one does the practice, he can hit the target in the dark which is akin to having food in the dark. Our hand and mouth coordination is perfect even in dark. So he practiced everyday and became the best.

Rakesh Bansal

Anonymous said...

"It will be good if we can restrain ourselves from moving into the fourth stage". Just wondering, are we not abstaining "Perfection" by restaining from entering into the fourth (final / Last) stage.

Last stage i.e. merging the ego mind with the Total Infinite Mind (SELF) and become one with it, ending all seperation (any duality / plurality).

manivannan said...

Well said!

Practice makes perfect! I'm remembered of Edison's quote, "Genius is one percent inspiration and 99% perspiration." I think ur post beautifully explains that :-)

Independence day wishes!!

BTW, I just want to inform that I've updated my blog but updates are not showing in blogroll. So do drop in, if u find time :D

Vyshu said...

wat a nice way to explain the importance of practice..!

Four stages are interesting..and the quote by you as well..:)

Thanks for sharing this master piece..:)

Have a great day