Wisdom is virtuous skill in living.
Virtue is a skill and can be grown in.
The fundamentals for how to grow in virtue are practice, presence, and community.Today, we look at having a transformation practice.
To grow deeply in life you must devote yourself to the path of mastery. All experts, or masters in their craft have a practice. A practice is a certain skill, habit, or discipline you devote yourself to.
A practice is consistent. You keep showing up, daily.
A practice is narrow. A practice is a way of saying no. All other choices become distractions. Become pure and be unhindered by the worries and pressures of other expectations and walk the path of your practice.
Here is a first principle on having a practice: You only know what you do. So develop a practice and make showing up a habit.
You could practice writing. You could write daily. Choose 500 words, 10 minutes minimum, or an hour. Every day. Then never miss a day. Share your writing in public to keep yourself accountable.
You could practice reflection . Choose a simple format, and journal . Learn how to identify your thoughts versus your feelings. Identify your core values and identify and learn from whenever you fail.
You could practice movement. Master fundamental movements: Push, pull, hinge, squat, run, throw, crawl, loaded carry, climb. Consistently learn new skills and experiment with different movement modalities.
You could practice reading . You could read daily, in the same chair, without distraction. Taking notes. Pondering. Getting lost in the experience.
You could practice prayer. Get skilled at being still, and being silent, and listening to God. Memorize prayers. Sit in prayer. Walk in prayer. Fast and pray. Go on a silence and solitude retreat.
You could practice communication skills. Identifying your listening blocks that prevent you from listening deeply. Focusing carefully on being present and using listening micro-skills skills in every conversation. Learn to have better conversations .
You could practice learning. Choose a topic, and seek to understand it well. Read 10 books on the topic. Interview friends, mentors, and especially experts on this topic. Surround yourself by others passionate about this topic. Create mind maps on the topic to increase your understanding of key mental models. Review key concepts with spaced repetition. Move beyond theory as quickly as possible. Apply your learning in as practical ways as possible in the real world. Share and teach what you know, as you go, to others to deepen your learning.
Whenever possible, combine multiple of the above examples to a single area of focus and passion and you will compound your growth over time.
Be devoted to your practice. It is a narrow and difficult path to flourishing .
“The paradox seems to be, as Socrates demonstrated long ago, that the truly free individual is free only to the extent of his own self-mastery. While those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."
Mark 1:35, NIV
What is your practice? If you don't have one, what could you devote yourself to?
What ritual would help you focus, each time you begin your practice?
Don't spend too much time thinking about or researching what to do. Simply begin and work on your craft.