How to get good at something.

July 10, 2019
It's pretty simple, and it will make you feel good.
photo: jennifer brown

“Don’t give up on yourself; keep going.” That’s my interpretation of Sutra 1.14 in Yoga philosophy. It’s about the importance of steadiness of practice–in meditation, in yoga, in everything.

Take writing. I write every day. Now, writing every day doesn’t make me a good writer; reading is what makes good writers. But writing every day keeps me from being intimidated by the thought of writing. The blank page doesn’t fill me with terror. I see a blank page and I see a friend.

It’s the same with knitting and crochet. These loops and knots used to be such a mystery to me! I never thought I could do it. Last night when the hubbins and I were watching Beyond Stranger Things (fun, though I’m still mad about the Season 3 ending), I was crocheting granny squares. At some point I realized I’d made five of them, without needing to refer to the book (Stitch N’ Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller, of course). The simplicity of Sutra 1.14 bore out: I’d gotten good at something by practicing it regularly, and not giving up.

Whatever it is I want to get good at, I remember Sutra 1.14. The original translation is “Practice becomes firmly grounded when well attended to for a long time, without break, and in all earnestness.” Apply this to anything you want to do, and success (or at least a nice pile of granny squares) will be yours.

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