It really doesn’t matter how anything starts but what always matters is how it ends. You definitely end up making this choice for yourself.
A cup of coffee is nothing but water, ground coffee beans, and heat. You fill in a measure of water, add a couple spoonfuls of coffee, then place it on a fire.
At the beginning you don’t know how much coffee you need to use to give you the strength, consistency, and taste that becomes to your liking. You might not even know how you like your coffee just yet, and you wouldn’t know until you’ve made your first cup and tasted it.
Such is the case with starting to learn anything. Your first efforts are rarely satisfactory. Your first cup of coffee is often either too weak or too bitter. You may have chosen the wrong beans for your chosen brewing method, or forgotten it on the fire for longer than necessary.
You do it, still, persistently, because you crave the results of consuming this cognition-enhancing potion. You get that delicious buzz of alertness and it drives you to keep making more coffee.
One cup at a time, many experiments later, you learn how much ground beans to add, how fine or coarse you should grind them, how long they should be brewing, how strong you want your coffee, and what sort of beans tastes best.
Persistence is the only requirement for excellence and mastery.
You should always divorce yourself from the results. It doesn’t matter how bad your first attempts turn out to be. It doesn’t matter how clumsy, ignorant, weak, stupid, or clueless you look. The only difference between the amateur and the pro is consistency and the constancy of purpose.
Don’t give up.
Trying again and again, consistently and with persistence and perseverance, is the only road that takes an amateur to be a practitioner, and then ultimately, a master.
Getting bored, impatient, fearful of ridicule, or dejected by the mediocrity of your first few attempts is a license to give up and a sure recipe for failure. Because failure is not being able to do something perfectly well, but it rather is absolutely about giving up trying to get better.
It is exactly what I keep telling my son: trying is winning; giving up is losing.
And if you are convinced of the worthiness of your pursuits, if you are completely adamant to get better at doing whatever it is your endeavor to achieve, something miraculous will happen. You will get slightly better, then significantly better, and one day you will imbue your practice with your own creativity and uniqueness to reach mastery and be renowned for your skill.
Persistence is the only true antidote to mediocrity.
Keep at it.
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