PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT (Preparation: Key to Success 4)
Another thing that preparation entails is practice.
The time-tested saying holds true even today: Practice makes perfect. Having the necessary information, or even the ability or innate gifting to perform in a given field does not guarantee eventual success. Practice is a very strong key to victory in your vocational and career endeavors.
“If the axe head is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but skill brings success.” [Ecclesiastes 10:10 NIV]
Skill brings success. The word ‘skill’ as defined in my dictionary means dexterity, expertise, knowing well how to do a thing.
Expertise generates success. Nobody wants a jack of all trades and master of none. An average man on the street does not want the services of an amateur but experts are respected at their jobs.
But do you know that expertise and skill is cultivated by practice? It is practice that perfects your skills. And skill in turn now brings you success.
God bless my dad. He taught me an unforgettable lesson on two occasions as a young boy living at home. One while I was in primary school, the other was in junior secondary school.
While in primary school, I had a classmate who was much more skilled at pencil drawing than I was. I coveted the same level of dexterity but didn’t know how to go about it. Know what I did? Yours truly would bring home his drawing book and trace them out onto my own drawing sheets. Then I’d touch them up and make them look like I drew them myself. All these I did under cover of the night when the whole household was asleep. I’d show the drawings to my parents who were very proud of it. My mates praised my skills too.
Until one night, my dad caught me at it. I was floored. But he gently corrected me, saying, “You draw yours no matter how bad it is, looking at his as a guide. And as you consistently do it, you’ll soon become very good at it.” And that was what I did and I became so good at fine art that at a time I nursed the intention of doing it for a living! I learnt the lesson. If I want to be good at anything (so long I have a basic gift along that line) I should be consistent at it. Constant, habitual practice, under the guidance of a good tutor anyway, makes you too an expert.
A couple of years later, in junior secondary I kept getting very low scores in Math despite my excellent performance in other subjects. I seem to get no better no matter how hard (so, I thought) I try. My dad called me one day and said that if I would take the recommended texts from the first year and work through every sum and problem, and work on it every day, I would find out there is nothing difficult about Math. “Math is not hard, you only need practice,” so he put it. “Well,” I said, “I’ll give it a trial.”
I approached a mate who I knew had a better grasp of the subject (she, in fact was one of the best in the class) to put me through. Every day after school, I cut down on play and TV and worked every sum I could find. From that term till I left secondary school I never had less an 88% score in Math. Every session I collected the class prize in Math and Further Math and I was prepared to sue the examination body if I had less than an A1 grade in the Senior School Certificate Exam.
Why was I that bold? By the first school term of my senior secondary class two, I’d covered the entire SSCE Math syllabus. Also I had worked through every sum in ‘New General Mathematics’ by Indira Chacko et al from books 1 to 3 of junior secondary and books 1 to 3 of the senior secondary! Anyway, I never had to sue the exam body because my preparation paid off. I had an A1 grade in Math and an A3 grade in Further Math. And till date I don’t need extra prep to handle any Math exam up to the B. Sc. 200 level! In fact I put the challenge to you, try me! Practice makes perfect. Skill brings success. I have proved it many times over and it works! YOU WILL SUCCEED! (TO BE CONTINUED.)
Posted on October 24, 2012, in Attitude, Discipline, Dreams, Excellence, Goals, Inspiration, Leadership, Life, Mentoring, Mind, Ministry, Motivation, Parenting, Personal Development, Preparation, Purpose, Success, Talent, Vision and tagged Attitude, Books & Reading, Family Life, Leadership, Mentoring, Mind, Ministry, Parenting, Personal Development, Purpose, Success, Wisdom. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.