One of the best things in life that I realized is that we tend to get good at anything we do repeatedly. We’ve all heard the expression, “practice makes perfect”. But how many of us are aware that anything we do repeatedly is practice?
If you wake up at 7 am in the morning every day, you are practicing waking up early. If you run daily, then you are practicing and using your body. Naturally you become good at running, so you become faster and your endurance improve. Life is just like this. Anything you do can be a form of practice, of conditioning yourself to be a certain way.
I find it amusing when people say that they get distracted easily or procrastinate a lot. It’s just that in my experience of life, anything we do repeatedly, we become good at it. If you place yourself in a situation where most of the time you are distracted, you are, in a sense, practicing distraction.
Whatever you will yourself to be, that is the outcome because your actions will be in that direction. If you procrastinate often, wouldn’t you be good at it?? Of course, you would.
Whatever you do, doesn’t matter what it is, it can become a skill. The question is: are you developing the skills that you want to develop? Or are you unconsciously developing skills in areas that won’t improve the quality of your life?
Is being distracted a skill you want to develop? Think about what you do most of the time. We spend a lot of our time on entertainment, smartphone, social media, and so many other things. We are good at them because we actively engage ourselves in these activities. Even if we are bad at something, we get good at something else.
Let me explain. If you are bad at arriving on time to meetings, then all you’ve practiced is tardiness. If you are bad at being happy, then all you have practiced is being sad. You get good at whatever you are reinforcing. You are practicing the ‘opposite’ of what you want.
Your Life is Your Karma
If everything that we practice, we become good at, then there is no such thing as being bad at something. Tell me, if you simply don’t know how to do something, can you say you are bad at it? You can, but then you would be bad at almost everything because there are so many things that you simply don’t know how to do.
Honestly, if you go about saying I am bad at this or that, I would say you are practicing your insecurity. If you practice this for a while, you would get good at being insecure, despite it being detrimental to you.
In my opinion, I don’t think it is possible to be bad at anything. My reasoning is that if you are truly bad at something, then it just means you don’t know how. If I never played a game of cricket, you can say I am very bad at it. But the truth is I don’t even know how to play the game. I haven’t spent any mental efforts/practice to know the basic rules of the game.
Even if you are a professional athlete, you will still be bad at cricket if you don’t know the rules. You may pick it up faster than anyone because you are good with physical activities due to prolong practices of using your body, but otherwise you are just as ignorant.
So, if you really want to be bad at something, simply do nothing. Then you’ll be ignorant about everything. But a question remains: can you do nothing? Even in the most mundane of activities, you are doing something. You can’t do nothing. So, can you really be bad at anything? You are always getting good at something, no matter how small that thing is.
Therefore, your life is your karma. It is your action, it is your doing, and it is your practice. Even the subtle nature of who you think you are is made by you. There’s no other way.
I ask this question very often: why am I the way that I am? The only true answer is that I made myself this way. For example, I have a huge psychological process within my mind. I am very good at creating the same thoughts, fears, and emotions because I practice creating them all the time, I keep experiencing them on a frequent basis in my life. It is no wonder why I get deja vu wherever I go.
If I use my brain all the time, then creating unique scenarios and vivid imaginations is easy! I am very skilled at creating illusions within me. I am also very good at creating the same longing within me. Heck, if I close my eyes right now, I can create an image of the girl I love in my mind. I can create the same longing and feelings within myself. I mean I have been practicing that for over 15 years, so I am good at it.
I am also very good at creating attachments and expectations, because I have unconsciously created many of them in my life so far. I keep reinforcing and repeating the same things in my mind, so it is natural that I experience the same response.
My life is my karma. It is my doing. It is my practice and repetition. On the physical level, I choose to eat what kind of food I want. I can continue practicing eating healthy food over junk food. I can choose to exercise daily or be lazy.
On the mental level, I can choose to think whatever I want. I can think unhappy thoughts. I can linger in doubts for a long period of time. I can project my insecurities on others. Or I can choose to do none of them, and practice things that are better for me.
On an emotional level, I can practice creating sweet emotions. I can practice being at ease. I can practice being bitter. The choices are still up to me. If I am conscious, then the choice is obvious. I will only practice doing things that will bring me well-being instead of the other way around. Why? It simply works better this way.
If everything we do is a practice, then the question of what we do is important. It does not take a genius to figure out what actions produce what kind of results. And if we want our quality of life to improve then we must do things that are empowering.
For example, distractions and compulsions are common issues that people have. The main reason is that people practiced them all the time. Say if you practice 12 hours a day, 7 days a week on being distracted, then you would be very good at it.
No, people are not distracted because of technologies. Smartphones and social media don’t make people distracted. You make yourself distracted. Technologies are just an enhancement of our capabilities. We can easily access so many information at our fingertips. It is us who are abusing technologies due to our compulsion. We are not taking charge of our mind and body.
If this is the case, then what needs to happen is that people need to learn how the mind and body works. You cannot take charge of something when you don’t even know how it works. And to know how the body and mind works require practice. It requires digging deep within yourself to know yourself. But if you spend 12 hours a day, 7 days a week on knowing the body and the mind, then you would be very good at it.
The body is simple. There are a lot of limitations to the body, but if you want to improve it, you simply use it. If it is overused, you rest. That’s all there is to it. You consume food that are good for the body. You can do this simply by eating certain types of food and test how you feel afterwards. All of this you can practice and experiment. All of this can be an empowering experience for you.
The mind is trickier, but it functions the same way. Instead of taking in food, the mind is taking in information through the five sense organs all the time. An empowering mental practice is concentration.
To develop concentration, just practice it daily by doing one simple thing at a time and giving it your full attention. If your mind drifts away, you bring it back. It drifts away, you bring it back. Make your mind focused in one direction for an extended period. Do this repeatedly and you will get good at concentrating.
Why do I focus so much on concentration? Because it is only through concentration and focus that life opens its doorways for you. Think about it. No matter what you do, or what you learn, if you focus enough attention on it, it will yield to you.
These days I practice concentration in these simple activities: writing, running, meditation, and yoga.
I do all these simple things because not only do I want to be good at them. I want to experience life fully by becoming receptive to what is already here. I understand that life is a manifestation of where my energy is flowing. If I concentrate my energy into a single point, then I can open a deeper dimension of experience within myself.
If I can concentrate, then I can focus. I would be able to develop the emotions that I want to feel within me. I can develop the thoughts that I want easily. We can do this right now, but we still unconsciously create thoughts and emotions that we don’t want.
When we practice something, we are distributing our energy in that direction. If we think of energy as a physical entity, then we have a limited quantity per day. Because energy is finite within us, we only have so much to work with. If you spend most of your energy being distracted or unhappy, then you won’t have any left for anything else.
So, a big part of practicing is that you look at anything you do as an expression of the limited energy that you have. If you are doing things that you don’t want to do, then redirect your energy. Make it your prerogative to choose what is best for you because you are going to get good at it, whether you like it or not.