Practice makes progress

by Joel L, Western Australia

Bob was asked to play football with his kids; he thought it would be easy because he used to be pretty good at it. To his surprise, it was harder than he thought. Those skills of yesterday were not as available because he hadn’t used them in such a long time. So he gets grumpy with his son, not wanting to admit he has lost something.

Mary was helping her child with some math homework; she thought it would be easy because she used to be pretty good at it. To her surprise, it was harder than she thought, as she hadn’t used that knowledge in such a long time. So she finds a reason not to help out, because she’s ‘just too busy’ with other things, not wanting to admit she has lost something.

A country needed some help with its growing rates of diabetes; the experts thought it would be easy to get people to change how they live, as the evidence and the need was so strong. To their surprise, it was harder than they thought, as many in the community hadn’t chosen a healthier way of living for such a long time. So they commissioned more research to confirm what was known centuries ago, not wanting to admit they had lost something.

Humanity is crying out for people to be more loving to each other; some think it is easy, but to their surprise it is harder than they think, as we haven’t chosen a more loving way of living for such a long time. So we get grumpy, get busy, get obsessed with research that will give us the answer or tell us who to blame, all so we don’t have to admit we have lost something.

The good news is …  love, like everything else, is never lost, just not practised.

623 thoughts on “Practice makes progress

  1. ‘Practice makes progress’, no perfection in sight but the steadiness and certainly of reclaiming something we innately know and naturally are – love.

  2. It’s true. All we want is love, and because it is so hard to open up to it because we haven’t practiced it for such a long time we give up. We will do anything to not feel the pain or admit to finding something difficult. As you say – ‘practice makes progress’. We won’t progress until we commit to having a go!

  3. If love is part of our daily movements, we move with it. If love, instead, is not part of our daily movements, we cannot walk with it. We need to establish a relationship with it to then being able to move with it. Otherwise, it does not happen.

  4. How great would every work place be if the morning email or staff meeting agenda encouraged us to be more loving and understanding? Nothing more or less asked but an opportunity to bring what the world is truly crying out for. Putting aside the drive, comparisons, arrangements of how we should be and just getting real with BEING! It is the willingness to take responsibility and make this a choice everyday, which often clouds or holds back our potential as a global community. This blog is a great simple reflection that I will be taking with me on my travels. Thank you!

  5. Not wanting to admit something and getting grumpy – all too familiar reactions when we choose not to be honest or take responsibility.

    1. Oh thank you Gabriele. I was super grumpy about something yesterday and can see so clearly that I did not want to take responsibility for something. Check.

  6. I love this message that all that we hold dear in our heart and yet do not see in our life is always available to us. But it requires honesty, commitment and a consistency in putting it into practice.

  7. I think a massive trouble we have in life is we often want the results without having to put the work in, not accepting that real change and real progress takes a lot of work and commitment, and that’s part of the magic of it.

    1. Meg thats so true, we have to put the work and commitment in to get results. I have been working on myself for the last several years. I have friends who constantly ask me what’s your secret and I say there is no secret its a commitment to myself and the result is in front of you.

      1. There’s no secret just commitment – I love that answer – it makes it super simple for anybody to change their life.

  8. It is so true that people do not want to face that they have lost what they once knew, and in reaction do whatever they can to avoid the pain of this, rather than reconnecting to and embracing what they once knew. As you have said love, like all the other seemingly lost things, only appears to be gone for we haven’t been practicing how to live or be it, but reawakening what is always there and learning to live that again is only a choice away.

  9. Joel, I love your quote practice makes progress. This is so true, as a commitment to live from our loving hearts will allow our love to continually deepen.

  10. Sometimes the most simple things to change we make the most complicated, so while making healthier behaviours should be easier, we find they are not. I like the simplicity of what Joel shares here, as it exposes how we have set ourselves up to not make healthy choices normal.

  11. The problem with humanity that we all desperately want love, and most of us are willing to practice it, but we don’t know where to find it. We think it is outside us, while all the time it was in us.

  12. This is a great blog to come back to. I like the practical simplicity of it and its got me thinking about what little things I can do today that I often put off or make excuses not to do.

  13. We know love inside out – we must if we do everything in our power to live and express the exact opposite.

  14. It is in a way shocking to know we are all love and we have to do so much to return to that love we are and carry within. Just because we walkd away from ourselves so much and those patterns can be strong and therefor a deep loving discipline can be needed to return.

  15. We clearly seem to be well rehearsed in being dishonest, with ourselves and each other, much so that we think this is ‘normal’. Yet imagine if we began to practice being the love we are in essence, being honest and open with ourselves and bringing this quality to our interactions with each other. How vastly different would the world be and how far more enriching and real would our relationships feel.

  16. This blog challenges the truth of the expression “use it or lose it”. As the divine beings we are, there are qualities that belong to us no matter what and will belong to us forever because we belong to them. They are never lost in spite of how lost we may be.

  17. Beautiful, yes everyday I am aware I am practicing it makes what we call mistakes something to learn from and not attack myself for, learning to come back and live all the love I already am within.

  18. Practicing being all the love that we are deepens our awareness of the Divine love that we all already are.

  19. First we have to be honest enough to admit that we can tell we have lost something. And then what a gorgeous loving reminder that it is okay, everything we want, all the answers we seek is already within us, we just need to get back in a habit of choosing and living it.

  20. Great what you say “The good news is … love, like everything else, is never lost, just not practised.” Love is always there for us to pick up in any moment.

  21. “Humanity is crying out for people to be more loving to each other; some think it is easy, but to their surprise it is harder than they think, as we haven’t chosen a more loving way of living for such a long time.” Humanity has to first accept that they have been living in away that has not been loving in the first place to be able to make changes, once that is recognised then it becomes easier to choose loving ways.

  22. What a wonderful soliloquy that offers us all a way to reengage with that which we need in our lives. Patience and persistence can bring in that which is needed, love, self-appreciation and care.

  23. Beautiful, it is something to ponder deeply, our thoughts, experiences and ideals that we have lost something, our love, a skill, our trust, when in fact, always what we think we have lost still resides within us, all that is required is acceptance that we have not used it in some time and choosing to practise it again will bring it to our body and once more it will become a part of how we live.

  24. Beautifully said Joel, we have been making unloving choices for a long time, so when we don’t see it around us, we can tend to align to similar behaviours, but we actually need to connect to ourselves and to not align to all the unloving ways of the world.

  25. If we have a picture of how we want or think things should go if we express love then we can easily get frustrated, forceful or give up if things don’t go how we envisaged or want them to, but that’s like putting conditions on something that is totally unconditional in truth! True love is needless and so doesn’t get attached to specific outcomes, and with that we can just commit to keep deepening the quality that we bring to everyone, without perfection but with growing consistency.

  26. When I was growing up, I often wished for people around me to be more loving and now I realise how much I was holding back expressing love myself. Now, I am learning to unlock the love that has always been there waiting patiently to be expressed.

  27. The practising of love starts first within, and builds an internal foundation of love that is never lost.

  28. Great words of wisdom Joel, ‘we don’t have to admit we have lost something.’ and we definitely don’t want to admit that how we’re living means that something is not readily available. And so it is with Love, it’s there, ready, able and willing and it’s for us to get honest and allow ourselves to admit we had lost it, we’re out of practice and to embrace it again.

  29. It is true – love is never lost, it is who we are at essence and always there. One way we miss it sometimes is through the corruption of the word love. We now call all sorts of desires and emotional reactions love whereas true love does not have one ounce of emotion in it.

  30. I love this author, his style is extremely light and funny while being very accurate and exposing. We think a lot of the time that things are the same or haven’t change or it’s just how things are when in fact with a little quality work in the right direction we would see a huge change. If we look around and see what we are faced with we can see now more then ever we need to reignite our true quality of life. There is a true value within everyone and everything that can be seen if we take the first step.

  31. I haven’t read this blog for a while but it melted my heart to read it today. Love is not shown in huge achievments, gold medals or outstanding results but in the kind and supportive way we are encouraged to learn. We are so conditioned to thinking life’s about having the ‘right answer’ but the only true one is about us expanding our understanding. Thank you Joel, I won’t view mistakes in the same way again.

  32. I have often been someone who wanted to get something straight away and if not then I would give up and throw the towel in so to speak but lately I have been giving myself more space to learn things and understand that I can’t be perfect at everything and especially not straight away. Not knowing it straight away does not mean we are a failure, it just means we need to practice a bit more and really going for it. Life then becomes more playful and less stressful.

  33. Giving up because we can’t do something only means we have more of the same. It’s an odd expectation we put on ourselves – to get things right first time or know how to do things straight away. We don’t expect a baby to know how to walk but are very supportive in letting the steps unfold.

  34. Love. It is always there. So true. It is a bit like joy. When I see those videos with flash mobs, like one on a train and everyone is sitting on the train minding their own business, and then someone starts singing/dancing and the joy that can burst from the people watching is huge. It shows me that there is so much joy inside of us, just waiting to be expressed.

  35. We find comfort in misery and misery in comfort. It takes much more effort to be grumpy and in fact no effort at all to be love. But the latter needs a willingness and a depth of honesty and humility that does away with one’s pride and righteousness. But picture a tight fist holding on for dear life and that’s the hold of the arrogance that does not want to let go, that doesn’t want to concede that it’s gotten it rather wrong, having missed the most obvious thing in the world (love, love, love) all along.

  36. In an age of instant technological gratification could it be we are further away than ever before from a truly loving life? We want success and a relationship that makes us feel good today and seem to think we deserve this as our natural birth right. It’s true it doesn’t have to be a struggle but what your beautiful words remind me Joel is that everything in life is about growth and evolving step by step – we never get ‘there’ so to speak, but just keep learning and returning to Love. And on this journey we all deserve a helping hand.

  37. I love the true understanding shown in this blog and find it very healing to reading. As a society we have to stop the culture of blame and look at what we are all doing to contribute to the crisis we are in as a human race..

  38. What I discovered was that because I didn’t express love for a long time it was not easy to start expressing again. There were a backpack of hurts I was carrying around that I needed to heal and let go of first.

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