This I Believe

samiah - west palm beach, Florida
Entered on October 9, 2006

Sorry, Gotta Run!

Although not overly creative, I TRULY believe in the idea that practice makes perfect. Practice is necessary meant to improve ones self and to fulfill physical and intellectual goals in life. One cannot achieve their full, God given potential unless they work at it with whole heart and soul. Half-ass, doesn’t equate to perfection. It just doesn’t. Ever! Getting by, maybe, but not much more.

Since I was two years old, a nanny taught me that I needed to set up a routine for learning. At this young age, she was teaching me the importance of practicing. She was asked to teach me how to speak a foreign language. She used repetition, and tried to turn it into a game. By making the practice fun, she inadvertently tricked me into not realizing that what I was doing (practicing) was actually making me better and smarter.

I have been playing piano for nine years, and it isn’t possible to NOT practice, and slip by undetected, or just “wing-it.” The only one being fooled is you. One must set up a disciplined regime to properly execute the rhythm, count, tune, and tone. Anyone can play, but not everyone can make an emotional statement. Performing in a fashion that moves the audience and makes them listen with reverence requires the ultimate sacrifice. This sacrifice is practice. Making the time to practice and perfect every aspect of a song, and to repeat and improve without experiencing severe monotony is a necessity. The delicate strength embodied into my fingers allows me to do magical things, in a way that would be impossible without practice.

I have learned that schoolwork involves the same logic that entails repetition and practice. I work well best with this method of learning. For example, how does one improve on their writing? It takes practice. Practice may involve learning from mistakes and the comments and critiques of those who have more expertise in a subject area than I. Practice involves numerous examples and revisions in methodologies. A restructuring of thought, in a way that will improve the outcome the next time an essay is written. Practice typically ensures an outcome that is better than the previous version.

Practicing for those darn college exams is a must, for me at least, in anticipation of receiving the ultimate reward. Admission into a great college! Go TEAM, Rah, Rah, Rah!! All those definitions, all those sample problems, all those tests that make you want to SCREAM! Knowing that the solution for sanity and calm on the day of the exam is PRACTICE! Sacrifice those weekends. Who needs a social life? A Date? What’s that? We must fight for THE test. “Tutor,” my parents bark! “What am I STUPID, I wonder?” Ok, I’ll PRACTICE, I compromise, knowing that they are right. I am not ready. I do need help. HELP! No problem, you still have TWO weeks, I remind myself. Sure, I can do it. I possess a discipline that most people envy. My brother, the slacker, would just “wing-it,” but not me! I must practice with the fervor of my fate ending up with an awaiting firing squad if I don’t succeed!

Soccer… How do you think I got to be so good? Sure, good genetics and by the grace of God, BUT I also gave the ultimate sacrifice. I practiced, and practiced, and practiced! I learned what oozing blisters were, experienced what it felt like to have my foot crushed by an inexperienced “COW” who was in the “right” place at the wrong time! I ache, I sweat, and I come close to exhaustion in the 100-degree heat. But, don’t fret, because if I am going to get better, I must practice. And, when I think I am playing well, I’m really not, because there is always someone who strategized just a bit more cleverly, sacrificed just a bit longer, and practiced, just a bit harder!

I remember that song we sang everyday in Montessori school. “I know I can… Be what I want to be…. If I work hard at it…”(repeat at least 5X). I finally understand the message that this silly song was relaying. A powerful message, that translates to “you must practice to achieve your goals and dreams!” Gotta run! It’s 11:45 pm, BUT I can’t sleep yet, because I still need to go Practice! This I believe.