The virtues of practicing

Remember that old saying, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice." It's so true — one doesn't just decide to become a master musician and then waltz into Carnegie Hall. It takes years (and years...and years) of practicing one's craft to get to that place in the music world. And it's not just musicianship that requires that kind of dedicated practicing — it pretty much applies to any area of life that you want to excel at.

I was reminded of this recently when I came across a piece online in which jazz legend Wynton Marsalis extolled the virtues of practicing in "Wynton's Twelve Ways to Practice." (I encourage you to go read it now.) I love it when someone who is a master craftsman pulls the curtain aside to show people what it really takes to reach the upper levels of any given field. There's nothing magical and mysterious about it — practice, dedication, hard work. These things seem somewhat obvious, but we often forget about them when focusing strictly on the goal and not the journey needed to reach it.

What I also love about Marsalis' list are the less-obvious tips, like those focusing on clearly defined goals, scheduling and time-management, and the mental and emotional elements involved in success. These have all been hallmarks of our process since the beginning of Capes Coaching, and they are things that I instill in all of my private coaching clients, as well as my Path students. Marsalis' list is a must-read for anyone looking to make a career for themselves in the creative arts.