A long time ago, once upon a time............ok, I'm not THAT old, but back in my youth I played the french horn. Despite my beginning and pleading to play the saxophone or even the violin my parents decided that my snaggle toothed self should play an instrument roughly the size of myself. Really, I was quite the little thing in middle school. I had absolutely zero desire to play this instrument, but my parents loved it and told me that women french horn players were rare and could make good money in an orchestra. Ok, whatever, I'll play. And that I did. For the next so many years I practiced and practiced. I was promptly chastised when I didn't practice at home and teased when I did. My parent's favorite phrase during the beginning learning phases of me just trying to get my lips and lungs to belt out some sort of sound was, "WHO GOOSED THE MOOSE"?! They definitely left a mark on this impressionable young musician. I did pretty alright for a goosed moose.
Then high school came. I had an incredible teacher named F. Jackson Yonce. He told me I would have to start fresh as my embrasure was completely wrong (I was adapting for my really crooked teeth) and he helped me figure out a way that was going to help me succeed in playing though was honest about my teeth being a limitation. I wanted so bad to impress him that I followed everything he said and taught. Yet, I wasn't getting very far. Then he taught me a lesson I have carried with me every day since. "Practice does not make perfect it makes permanent".
Mind meet Blown. Yes, my young impressionable brain actually understood this statement that was contradictory to everything I had learned, just like my previous embrasure. I was taught that practice makes perfect. I told him this and he said "perfect practice makes perfect". It was his way of saying that if you consistently do the same thing over and over again you will not find any growth, improvement, or steps towards your goals because you are just instilling bad habits. Practice makes permanent. The only way to really break the cycle of creating bad habits is to stop practicing them.
I wish I could say that I apply that statement to my every day life, but that would make me a liar. I don't quite particularly like my pants of fire so I wont pretend to lead you to believe that. I do however remind myself frequently when I feel stuck in something and don't see my own progress that practice makes permanent and I can snap myself out of it or I can continue doing what I need to do to reach my goals.
Keep striving, keep pushing, and attempt to get your perfect practice in each day in all that you do. I'll be right here goosing my moose while keeping my pants from engulfing in flames.
Here are some recent images of me continuing my practice. Enjoy.