practising

From Not Always So
When we practice together, we forget our own practice… When you practice your own practice together with others, the true ego-lessness happens.

From The Aesthetics of Change
Occidentals ... practice in order to get a skill, which is then a tool - in which I, unchanged, now have a new tool, that's all. The Oriental view is that you practice in order to change yourself.

From The Fifth Discipline
The total absence of meaningful practice or rehearsal is probably the predominant factor that keeps most management teams from being effective learning units.

From Wooden on Leadership
I rarely assigned one player to a basket. Basketball is a team sport, and I felt it was unwise to allow players to practice by themselves. Always I wanted them to be interacting with their teammates.

From The Mind of War
Boyd also came to appreciate the routine practice and repetition that was required to become really good at something and to overcome the boredom by focusing on minute improvements.

From Talent is Overrated
Practicing without feedback is like bowling through a curtain that hangs down to knee level. You can work on technique all you like, but if you can't see the effects, two things will happen: You won't get any better, and you'll stop caring.

From Stuka Pilot
Another confirmation of the truth of our old Stuka maxim: "Nothing comes off - except what you have practised."

We have long since ceased to develop practice from theory; we do just the opposite.

From Thinking Fast and Slow
An important principle of skills training: rewards for improved performance work better than punishment of mistakes.

The accurate intuition of experts are better explained by the effects of prolonged practice than by heuristics.

From Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
Right practice, right attitude, right understanding.

From Bounce
Nobody who had reached the elite group without copious practice, and nobody who had worked their socks off but failed to excel.

From Mindset
Babe Ruth loved to practice. In fact when he joined the Boston Red Sox… he wasn't just a rookie. He was a rookie pitcher.

From Zen in the Art of Archery
If I tried to give you a clue at the cost of your own experience, I should be the worst of teachers and show deserve to be sacked! So let's stop talking about it and go on practising.

From Zen Bow, Zen Arrow
Human beings always cling to things. Practice begins when you stop clinging.

From Thinking Fast and Slow
It is the mark of effortful activities that they interfere with each other.

From Mozart a biography
From earliest childhood he practiced for thousands of hours every year.

patterns of connection

When I read a good book I highlight passages that catch my attention. I copy a few of the highlights into a book-snippet.

This photo is of page 75 of my battered copy of The Secrets of Consulting. The yellow highlights are from the first time I read the book, the pink ones from the second time, the blue ones the fourth time. At the bottom right is one sentence outlined in pen and marked with an eight. That tells me I marked that sentence on my eighth re-read. (I've run out of new colours.)

I find it better to re-read a really good book 10 times rather than read 10 average books once each. It's the really good books that provide new insights each time I re-read them. Marking highlights in this way allows me to go back in time. What topics caught my attention in early readings? What topics in later readings? I can explore the differences. Of course, part of that newness is that I'm a different person each time I re-read. I'm older. A sentence triggers a new thought based an experience I've had since my last read. Also, I remember more of the book each time. For example I can see on my seventh re-read I marked this
The toughest problems don't come in neatly labeled packages. Or they come in packages with the wrong labels.
and I underlined the words labeled and labels because I'd consciously connected them to The Label Law (on page 64).
The name of the thing is not the thing.
Underneath that I can see I've written "The Dread Pirate Roberts". That's a connection to a scene from one of my favourite films, The Princess Bride. Westley is in the fire swamp explaining to Princess Buttercup how he has become the Dread Pirate Roberts...
Westley: I, as you know, am Roberts.
Buttercup: But how is that possible, since he's been marauding twenty years and you only left me five years ago?
Westley: I myself am often surprised at life's little quirks...
Westley: Well, Roberts had grown so rich, he wanted to retire. So he took me to his cabin and told me his secret. "I am not the Dread Pirate Roberts," he said. "My name is Ryan. I inherited the ship from the previous Dread Pirate Roberts, just as you will inherit it from me. The man I inherited it from was not the real Dread Pirate Roberts, either. His name was Cummerbund. The real Roberts has been retired fifteen years and living like a king in Patagonia." Then he explained the name was the important thing for inspiring the necessary fear. You see, no one would surrender to the Dread Pirate Westely.
John Gall (who was born in 1925), recently gave a fabulous talk called how to use conscious purpose without wrecking everything. He said:
As the years go by, the brain begins to put the dots together, to make conscious links between one experience and another, between one historical fact and another. A person begins to experience one’s entire life history as an integrated narrative.
This integrating capacity of the human brain is perhaps its most marvelous achievement. And you have to be old—usually fifty or sixty years old—to reach that point where it dawns on your conscious mind that that’s what’s going on. Unless you are already in your coffin, your mind is always a work in progress, an ongoing process of continual growth and greater differentiation, richer and more far-reaching correlations.
He chatted about how much his mind had changed during the first 40 years of his life compared to the most recent 40 years of his life. He said the latter change was far greater.
Isn't that amazing. Fantastic.
I'm looking forward to getting older!
I'm looking forward to seeing more and more patterns of connection.