Don’t Waste Time Practicing
11 Tips to Implement Before You Die
Wake Up Call:
“You’re going to die.” Gary Vaynerchuk
It’s going to happen eventually. Between now and then, we have the option to choose. Will we grow into the people we want to become? Or remain the same?
I’ve got this new word I’m loving lately, deploy. I first heard it from Gary Vaynerchuk when he used in a context that used “deploy” instead of “practice.” The specific phrase was, “deploy patience.” The reason that deploy is so much more arresting is because it points to an even greater level of investment and intensity than practice.
When you practice something, you try it for a little while and then give yourself a break. Like practicing an instrument. You pick it up and put in a few minutes or hours a day, depending on your level of motivation. When you deploy, on the other hand, you are committed to sustained, intense effort for as long as it takes to accomplish your purpose, the level of effort needed to be successful at anything. Whether your goal is to learn the guitar, start a business, write a book, or paint a masterpiece, there are traits that you need to deploy in order to succeed.
These have the power to change your life, and you can choose to implement these things into your life and reap the resulting rewards, or not.
1. Deploy Patience
“Genius is patience.” Sir Isaac Newton
The truth is that there are no overnight successes. That’s a lie that social media has perpetrated on all of us.
Be patient in everything. Embrace it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, your life’s goals aren’t either, and, if they could be, would they really be goals worth chasing?
2. Deploy Consistency
“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” Dwayne Johnson
You won’t get fit going to the gym once every other month or so. You won’t write a book if you only write when you feel like it. Your business won’t grow if you don’t suck it up and work when the mood isn’t striking you.
Decide what you want to do, and then get up every morning and do that. Then do it again tomorrow.
3. Deploy Identity
“You have to know your identity. It’s the biggest thing in wanting to pursue creative dreams.” Lauren Daigle
Successful people know who they are. They don’t make excuses for weaknesses, they don’t worry how others will view them. They do their thing every day and move on.
Embrace who you are and who you desire to be. It doesn’t matter if others think you’re a dork, out of touch, or eccentric. You be you!
4. Deploy Creativity
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” Sophia Loren
There’s a spark of creativity in all of us. It looks different from person to person. It might even be unrecognizable in some, but it’s vital nonetheless. Deploy the creativity you have any way you can.
Practice thinking outside the box. Talk to people in other areas of expertise, expand your horizons, and look for the “back door” answer to questions and problems. This is the key to uncovering something fresh and exciting.
5. Deploy Focus
“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.” Paulo Coelho
The problem with all this technology and media surrounding us is that it’s distracting. It’s shortened our attention spans and replaced focus with “multi-tasking.”
Give up on multitasking. Focus is where it’s at. Remove distractions from your life, your relationships, your art, your business, whatever you are doing. Live in the moment and focus like this moment is passing you by never to return because it is…
6. Deploy Gratitude
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” Epicurus
Stop comparing yourself to everyone else and what they have or haven’t accomplished. Take some time to look at what you have accomplished, how far you’ve come since last year. Objectively look at your opportunities and realize that they exist. For this you should be grateful.
People that successfully deploy gratitude are humble, thankful for those in their lives, and ooze positivity. Is that you? If not, you know what to do!
7. Deploy Failure
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” Denis Waitley
What a weird thing to include in an article about making life better! Getting past the fear of failure just might be your greatest weapon in the battle for your dreams.
Learning that you can fail and still make progress is the first step on the way to learning how to fail properly. Learn how to fail properly, and there’s no telling what you might accomplish!
8. Deploy Community
“There is immense power when a group of people with similar interests gets together to work toward the same goals.” Idowu Koyenikan
The more you engage with a community of like-minded people, the easier it will be to deploy consistency and patience. People will be able to help you understand that you aren’t alone and will encourage you when the going gets tough.
It’s not always comfortable to seek out and engage with a community. Get outside your comfort zone and realize that the lessons you learn, relationships you build, and life experiences you’ll hear about are worth much more to your dreams than isolation will ever be.
9. Deploy Grit
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” Booker T. Washington
Conflict and adversity will come. Probably daily. You will gain nothing by giving in to it or by boxing up your dreams and relegating them to the basement of your mind again.
You wouldn’t watch a movie or read a story without conflict in it would you? Don’t allow your life to be a bad movie. Embrace conflict, get tough, deploy that grit and press through it. Your story will get better by the day!
10. Deploy Independence
“To find yourself, think for yourself.” Socrates
Sure, finding a community is on this list, but you also have to know how to trust yourself. It is a balancing act that warrants your attention.
Trust yourself when it comes to your art. Hold strong opinions loosely, and be willing to make hard decisions even if those you are connected to disagree.
11. Deploy Love
“Not only do self-love and love of others go hand in hand but ultimately they are indistinguishable.” M. Scott Peck
Love others. It is an uncommon thing in a world that is far too lacking in love. Love those that disagree with you, those that don’t appreciate your work, and don’t love your art. Love those that don’t even deserve it. It’s the ultimate decision you can make, to love.
Love yourself. Accept who you are — even your faults, weaknesses, and failures. Be okay with your eccentricities, love your strengths, and share yourself with those you care about.
Do these things and your life will likely be unrecognizable. I know I’m working on these. What else are you working on?
Call to Action
If you want to start or reinvigorate your Creative Journey, check out my free eBook: The Creative Journey — A Starter’s Guide.