Trying vs practising and why some doubt is good

This post is about how we can go from a state of trying to a state of practice. This is relevant in life, in love, in our creative pursuits, work or any other thing we deem important. 

So what’s the difference between ‘trying’ and ‘practising’?

When you look at a 10 month old learning to walk, they are not trying to walk. The whole day they are practising how to walk. As they fall, roll over and repeat; they don’t get frustrated with themselves because it’s not a matter of trying to walk and failing 50 times a day, it’s a question of practice. When you try to write a book and you don’t finish it, you’ve failed. When you try to lose weight, get your ‘dream job’ (whatever that means), get into a healthy relationship, save money, be a good daughter, a good friend, a good son, person or whatever - if you don’t reach the final outcome then you have failed. However, if you practise being a good daughter, a great inspiring writer, losing weight, living well ….every iteration gets you that much closer to the desired outcome. It’s not failure, it’s exactly that….an iteration.

Practice allows you to throw yourself into something more boldly and truthfully whereas with trying there’s always a pang of ‘what if’. What if it does not happen, what if it all blows up in my face, what if, what if…..This does not mean that there should never be doubt in your life, some doubt is good. The best of us doubt. The worst of us are those who are so sure that we swell with overconfidence and conviction. As someone very smart once said: 'abolish all doubt and what is left is not faith but rather a cold, heartless conviction'. A little doubt, on the other hand, makes us more humble and imperfect...... a little doubt makes us more human. 

This post was inspired by the James Alutcher podcast - specifically his interview with Neil Strauss (author of the much critiqued the ‘Game’). 

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