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Practice Makes NOT Perfect, but Permanent By Ken Donaldson

"Practice, practice, practice...because practice makes permanent." - Roger Millen, Ph.D., T'ai Chi instructor

When I was younger I was fascinated by magic. I got my first magic set at seven years old and quickly became the neighborhood magician, having shows in various garages and backyards. I watched the great professional magicians and was mesmerized by them. I heard one of these great masters describe now he learned and developed his trade.

He said, "I take what is totally unfamiliar and I work with it until it becomes familiar. I then take what has become familiar and I work with it until it becomes automatic. I then take what has become automatic and I work with it until it becomes beautiful. I then take what has become beautiful and I work with it until it becomes magical." I believe this is a powerful formula to life, as well as magic.

I went to a T'ai Chi workshop one weekend and the teacher asked us in the class, "Practice makes what?" The natural answer was "perfect", but he said, "Practice makes permanent"...very wise words. As I struggled through these simple T'ai Chi movements, I found my body resisting what was unfamiliar. I was reminded of how easy it is to quit or avoid the unfamiliar. Yet, if it is something that we really want, then perhaps the only way to achieve our goal is to go through the unfamiliar...and to follow the formula of the magician.

This T'ai Chi teacher said that he practiced this martial artistry regularly for ten years before it began to become automatic for him. So here is a question for you:

What have you given up on, or avoided all together, because it seemed to be too unfamiliar?

Remember, the last four letters of the word familiar spells "liar". So maybe the "familiar" path may, in fact, be a bit of a deception.

  • Have you become complacent?
  • Are you avoiding a path of true greatness?
  • Are you running from your Inner Guide and your Higher Self?

These are questions and issues I encourage you to look at.

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