What do you hope to get out of your discipline?
What results are you aiming to get out of a new discipline or skill set? Trust in repetition and the insights that come from that must take precedence over preconceived notions.
You probably have some preconceived notion of what you want to achieve. For example, a lot of people get really frustrated after a few sessions of Meditation and give up, because it didn’t have the desired effect instantly.
A lot of people won’t get into writing because they always hated it in middle school, high school and the thought of trying it for more than 5 minutes makes them feel ill.
Another example is when people try to launch a business and as a result get into social media. But once they fail to quickly gain a huge audience and then subsequent sales, they scrap the whole thing and get bitter about all the time they sunk into the startup.
Whether you are trying anything like I’ve mentioned above, you need to have a Practice and trust the Journey.
I can tell you about practice through the lenses of meditation, writing and creativity (drawing: digital and analogue).
Like I mentioned above meditation has a lot of preconceived notions attached to it.
The best way to approach meditation is to just let all of that go and just try to meditation. No tricks, no special formulas. Just try it.
The practice can be hard. Finding the groove can certainly be difficult. Most peoples minds will try to resist trying to even sit still for a short amount of time.
By letting the journey happen on a schedule, through scheduled practice, preferably daily, you will slowly start to feel the calming and centering effect that meditation has to offer. This only comes by trying over and over again.
Why is repetition important? Because you are carving new pathways in your brain.
Writing is really hard…well for most. Some people really like it and also have always had a natural ability to excel at it.
But if you are like most of us, it’s hard. It’s cumbersome. And most of all it seems to drag at a tremendously slow pace.
But by taking the time to practice the task at hand, it becomes easier and easier each day.
If you are trying to solve problems, you will through writing, but you must write about it and for more than 2 minutes. Through the passage of time and moving your fingers, you eventually hit that golden nugget. That fork in the road. The one “AHA” moment! It’s there, you just have to patiently keep digging, by moving your thoughts through your fingers until you’ve exhausted all possibilities.
Drawing is a skill some of us have and some of us don’t. Like the above examples it can be refined, even if you’re not an artist. What happens when you make drawing some part of a routine, is that you can visually map things out.
Like writing, as you keep repeating a drawing habit, you can understand the connection between your thoughts and how your hands can transcribe those thoughts into visuals.
This is huge for any creative and very important if you’re a visual learner.
Now I want to talk about the journey a bit. This is where you will start to get some results. I will use the same three disciplines as above.
Setting up a daily meditation practice will slowly start to make you more calm. In this practice you are letting thoughts pass, not denying them. So you will start to think about things you haven’t thought of in years. You’re essentially defragging your mind! And who couldn’t use a good defrag!?
But wait? Aren’t you supposed to go blank in your mind? Well a lot of people say no. Some say, yes, you can get to moments of being “blank”. But the goal of meditation has never been about going “blank”. It’s more about being present, being focused, calm and having clarity.
The Journey of writing, once established, actually feels pretty good. You will turn from someone that hates your writing to someone who actually likes it, looks forward to it and sees the power in it.
The power in writing lies in the fact that your thoughts become organized. Your thoughts seem to stay jumbled when stuck in your head. Writing and talking to others helps refine them.
So if you talk to someone at a meetup, conference or just a good friend, take any of those ideas and then write. You’re effectively refining an idea, then magnifying it. A very powerful combination.
Your brain’s thoughts are like a code. To decipher this code, you must distill it through writing. Writing is how inventions, intriguing design and innovative technology are born.
Like all of our examples above, the continued act of drawing gets easier and more refined.
Through the journey of practice and giving it time to happen sufficiently, you get a lot of your ‘bad’ initial ideas out of the way first.
Then you are free to move onto your medium ideas and eventually to your good ideas.
And if you let this journey truly flourish, you’re in for a treat. Your best ideas will come to life. Your sketches can be crude, but through the journey you’ll have moved so far past the basic ideas, that you’ll have a really strong prototype on your hands.
The Practice and Journey not only require a long-term practice but a sufficient amount of patience. Trust in being calm and letting things happen naturally. And then and only then, will the results come to you, in whatever shape they take.
Perhaps if you put time into something, for let’s say years. When you don’t get the desired result, you are going to know which direction to pivot your energy towards.
Even if you feel like you failed, failures are not failures unless you let them be. They are simply learning experiences. But more on failures and learning experiences later.
I wish you best of luck with your endeavors and would like to hear from you on your journey.
Originally published at efcreate.net on November 20, 2016.