I am inspired by many leaders in areas of life, and one of them is absolutely Seth Godin, who recently hit the milestone of posting 7,000 days in a row. Take that in for a moment.
He is such a leader in so many ways, with so many of the terms he has coined entering into our language as leaders, as well as marketers and entrepreneurs.
Some of you may not know of him, so though I won’t often simply repost something in entirety, I just saw this post from Seth the day after I both wrote about failure as a necessity for growth, as well as talked about it on a podcast. This post from Seth is a perfect addendum.
Two Kinds of Practice
The first is quite common. Learn to play the notes as written. Move asymptotically toward perfection. Practice your technique and your process to get yourself ever more skilled at doing it (whatever ‘it’ is) to spec. This is the practice of grand slalom, of arithmetic, of learning your lines or c++.
The other kind of practice is more valuable but far more rare. This is the practice of failure. Of trying on one point of view after another until you find one that works. Of creating original work that doesn’t succeed until it does. Of writing, oration and higher-level math in search of an elusive outcome, even a truth, one that might not even be there.
We become original through practice.
We’ve seduced ourselves into believing that the this sort of breakthrough springs fully formed, as Athena did from Zeus’ head. Alas, that’s a myth. What always happens (as you can discover by looking at the early work of anyone you admire), is that she practiced her way into it.