“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” So said Thomas Edison, and he would know. Until 2003 he held the most patents of any individual in the world.
“With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.” Working his entire life on social reforms, brewer and abolitionist Sir Thomas Buxton did not attain them all. But he became an expert on determination.
“Practice makes perfect.” So goes the saying that many of us learned as children. Want to hit home runs? PRACTICE!
You may already be convinced that persistence leads to success in athletics or business (the physical realm) and academics (the mental realm). Have you considered applying it to the spiritual realm?
Ever wondered why most religions recommend or require daily prayer? The best answer I have heard to this question is if we attempt to connect with G-d often, we stand a better chance of doing so sometimes. When I started becoming more committed to my faith, I was challenged to pray three times a day. At first, the effort seemed wasted. But over time, as my “prayer muscle” grew, so did my spiritual resiliency.
Perhaps the most important metaphysical skill we can work on is faith. Given how important conviction is to our success, you would think we would have long since adopted a daily regimen to cultivate it. Yet it seems most people have the attitude that when they need it their faith will be present. Can you imagine Kobe Bryant saying to his coach, “I don’t have to practice my free throw shot, it’ll be there when I need it.” Ridiculous, no?
We must exercise our faith if we want it to be available on demand. Here are some suggestions:
- Decide in whom you wish to develop faith: perhaps G-d, yourself, your spouse, or your children.
- Determine what aspect of faith you want to grow: G-d gives you everything you need, your ability to effectively direct your life. The choices are virtually limitless.
- Choose an exercise that challenges the area of faith in which you are working: Daily prayer to G-d for insight, strength, or another quality; working toward a goal that has many steps to attain it.
- Work out what you will do when your scheme goes awry: You did not realize something about a situation at the beginning that with better insight would have helped you avoid a problem. What will you tell yourself about G-d answering your prayers? Could He have said no, for now, necessitating harder work on your part?
Martha Graham, arguably the Picasso or Frank Lloyd Wright of dance, said, "Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired."
Question: Do you think deeper faith can be developed through practice?