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Practice a Skill (New or Old): Lifestyle Practice

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The next Whole Life Challenge starts in:

Practice a Skill or Engage in a Hobby for 10 Minutes Every Day

Simple Instructions:

  1. You can take up a new skill or practice one you are currently working on. It can be any skill you choose —  shooting free throws, speaking a foreign language, cooking, jumping rope, or even listening in conversations.
  2. You can also engage in a hobby — like playing an instrument, knitting, playing chess, reading, or gardening.
  3. You don’t have to do the same thing every day, but the more consistent you are with one thing, the better you’re going to get. On the other hand, this may be a week to explore things you’ve always wanted to try.
  4. It doesn’t have to be a skill you want to do, and might just be one you need to get better at.

Why Is This Practice Important?

Nothing improves without practice. No amount of talking, wishing, dreaming, hoping, or procrastinating will ever improve your ability to do anything — except maybe talking, wishing, dreaming, hoping, or procrastinating.

So often we put off the very things we would enjoy doing most. Who knows why. Maybe we think we deserve to take the time for ourselves until our “work” is done or we’re afraid we’ll find out we’re not any good at the activity. Regardless of why, we often put things done for pleasure or their own sake on the back burner.

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The mistake is to believe that everyone who is any good at something started out that good at it. The reality is that no one was paying attention while they practiced. All masters, even ones with “natural talent,” practice like crazy. You just won’t get good at anything without repetition. Even if you have a knack, you’ll never get great without a commitment. If you think Michael Jordan, Serena Williams, Georgia O’Keefe, Jackson Pollock, Lily Tomlin, Bruce Lee, Carole King, or Eric Clapton didn’t practice their tails off, you’d be sorely mistaken. The grace and ease they portray came after years of commitment.

Now, that’s not to say you aspire to be the greatest at anything you love. But what you need to get good doesn’t differ in the kind of work needed, only the intensity. The standard is the same — practice makes perfect. Take the week to discover something new or get better at something you’ve put off for long enough. The world needs people who do what they love.

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Michael Stanwyck
Michael Stanwyck is the co-founder of The Whole Life Challenge, an idea that developed during his seven years as a coach and gym manager at CrossFit Los Angeles.

He graduated from UCLA with a BA in philosophy as well as a degree from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, and feels food is one of the most important parts of a life - it can nourish, heal, and bring people together.

Michael believes health and well-being are as much a state of mind as they are a state of the body, and when it comes to fitness, food, and life in general, he thinks slow is much better than fast (most of the time). Stopping regularly to examine things is the surest way to put down roots and grow.

He knows he will never be done with his own work, and believes the best thing you can do for your well-being starts with loving and working from what you’ve got right now.