Disciplined Perfection Of A Skill

An ability to discipline yourself toward strengthening or perfecting a skill may be more important than almost any other trait we might wish to have. You may want to learn a mental or physical skill, obtain a working understanding of an important field of knowledge, or even achieve a certain high moral character. To be disciplined is to be highly focused and willingly committed to the task at hand. You must be willing to accept even severe conditions in order to acquire that knowledge or skill. Hard work is almost always required. You may have to rise early, and, at times, work well into the night or many nights over a long period. Extensive practice may be called for in perfecting physical or even certain mental skills. Such learning can call for austere conditions, practicing again and again until the means to achieve a certain level of perfection are found.

Inherent talent to learn and perfect the skill is less important than the diligence to practice. The idea is to perfect the skill you have — which can surprise you as sometimes a deep dwelling skill or predisposition toward its efficient expression may initially be hidden from view; that is, you may appear to have little talent, but patience is key since the requisite talent may be there, but slow to emerge.  Sometimes underlying physical or mental skills, and what may be needed to express them efficiently may not appear to be a part of our natural make up. However, if you study and practice looking at what you are trying to do from every conceivable angle, even from an angle you are not initially be prone to consider. When you have dissected out those component parts, you may become expert at a level you had not previously thought possible.

You may wish to learn to dance but you may consider yourself initially to be physically awkward and unable to easily show fluidity in following music in dance motions that others might find natural. Indeed, when you attempt to dance in front of others, they may agree that dancing is not one of your natural talents. These same comments may also be made in regard to your singing ability or in regard to your ability to learn to play a musical instrument. Music does not seem to be one of your strong suits.

Discipline will aide you to do all those things you set your mind to doing quite well or even exceptionally well, or at least far better than you currently do them. Discipline and patience will help you to dissect the fundamental, discrete motions that are part of the skill you want to acquire. You may study them and practice them in separate parts and in the transitions from one part to another — tease them apart in slow motion, exaggerate them in time and space, and then bring them back together gradually speeding up the parts into one natural set of interconnection motions. This can produce in time an optimum, even graceful performance of the intended skill.


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