Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Stop Practicing Your Mistakes: 31 Days of Intentional Living

Music echoed through the hallway and into the kitchen where I was sitting, working on homework with my daughter. An audience to my son's piano lesson and the input of his teacher.

He played "Minuet" by Jean Baptiste Lully — its minor scales lilted and danced through the small apartment. Every so often a pause, a correction, for a note misplayed or a finger misplaced and then onward the themes marched.

The last "D" concluded the piece and it was his teacher's turn to share. Mixed in with the encouragement and the "good jobs" was a reoccurring thought —

"You need to stop practicing your mistakes."

I listened as his musical words of wisdom were given to my son. "When you play a wrong note you remember it for the rest of your life."

He went on to emphasize the importance of knowing exactly what you need to play before jumping into it and how crucial it is to learn it right the first time, even if it takes longer.

Stop practicing your mistakes — there was something about this phrase that stuck with me long after we left his lesson.

The point was not perfection. We are all going to make mistakes. However, the more we make the same ones the more it becomes a habit. Like the same wrong note my son played at a particular measure in the song. He practiced it wrong and it stuck.

Sometimes we make mistakes because of an error in judgement. Sometimes we don't have enough knowledge or information. Or perhaps, we are just being careless.

If we do not approach life with awareness, we are at risk of playing the same wrong note over and over again.

We can be intentional about learning from our mistakes, so we can make different, more informed choices the next time. And we can avoid carelessness, by being more mindful and careful in whatever we pursue.

"The Minuet" wasn't played perfectly (and it probably never will), but the way my son approaches this song as he practices this week could make a huge impact next week.

What "mistakes" do you keep playing over and over again?

What intentional steps could you take to stop practicing your mistakes?



This is a post in a series called, 31 days of Intentional Living. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith








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3 comments:

Pamela said...

I think most of my mistakes are because I am just too careless. I forget to live in the moment so with my mind somewhere else, I make mistakes. I'll have to remember to "stop practicing my mistakes."

Jen Ferguson said...

I think God knew we would be prone to practicing our mistakes, which is why He has so many of the same themes throughout the bible repeated book after book. The Israelites come to mind first, but then I think about my own mistakes I continually practice. I think you are so right -- the key to start practicing the ways Jesus wants me to walk in starts with intentionality.

Mia De Vries said...

Hi Christy
I remember my worst mistake that I have made in my life many times over and over again, was trying to earn our Pappa God's love and acceptance. I am so grateful that He opened my eyes to the truth and showed me how really unconditional His love truly is as well as His grace and mercy.
Blessings XX
Mia

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