For 2023, my word of the year is PRACTICE.
How often do we crave something to be DONE rather than focus on DOING it? I’m guilty about it in the different aspects of my life. In writing, for example, it’s always tempting to relish the idea of a book being written rather than actually writing it. And it applies to all other disciplines and ways of living.
We say we want to be great athletes, but we don’t perform our drills.
We say we want to build a great website, but we don’t refactor our code.
We say we want to be healthy, but we don’t exercise regularly.
Outcomes are important, but when it comes to building skills, outputs and our deliberate effort to improve them are brought into focus. It’s the discipline of trying things out, honestly criticizing our work, and refining them again and again.
This is the life of practice I want to live.
- I want to align my desired outcomes and break them down into my outputs – that way, I won’t be burdened by the idea of perfection. Progress will take me there.
- To measure not only the DONE metrics but also the DOING – if let’s say, I decided to measure my writing progress by the books I wrote, then I would be in a very miserable situation (given the time it takes to write a book). Measuring the words I’ve written or the time I spent writing will help me survive the arduous journey.
- Long-term over instant gratification – the things that really make me happy are the things I’ve spent most of my time and effort with.
- Embracing the difficult – a new hobby or skill; a different learning; In these avenues, my discipline is tested and refined.
- To study more Stoicism – I think this helps shape my mindset and see things as they are.
- To understand that where I am at a point in time is where I’m meant to be – learning a new skill, it is understandable that I won’t make even a good output. And that’s okay. At that point, I am a beginner. Would you be angry at a flower when it was still a seed? The seed, and its potential, is perfect as it is.
- To look at what’s next when I reach the DONE stage – this is how I temper my ego. The path to improving oneself does not end. I know that the current project will teach me something that I can bring to the next one. Opportunities are endless when there is a growth mindset.
Words of the year recap:
- 2022 – Invest
- 2021 – Finish
- 2020 – Build
- 2019 – Create
- 2018 – Realize
- 2017 – Reduce