creativity · learning · life · Uncategorized

Easier, But Never Easy

Author photo, late fall 2017

Every important teacher has ultimately taught me the same thing:

It gets easier, but it never gets easy

When the endeavor becomes automatic, taken for granted, you’re losing it. To be a master of a sport, a discipline, an art, you must always remain curious, engaged, open to learning from anyone and everyone who might provide an insight, an approach from their own hard-won expertise.

This means that it is forever hard, forever a challenge, for ever baffling. The more you learn, the better you get. The better you get, the more that you can learn, the more that you can advance.

A former PGA touring pro taught us to know where we wanted to put the ball — and then to put it there using our skills, technique, the results of hours of lessons, of practice under hot sun on days when nothing went right and we despaired. He taught visualization before it was labeled and packaged as a nifty way to get what you want.

You were to look out where you wanted to go, imagining the final arc as the ball landed there. When you looked back at the ball to make the shot, you were to keep that end in mind, just the bit at the end and the goal, not how you got there or how pretty you looked or anything other than getting to the goal.

We were taught to say “Show me your PGA card” to anyone who offered to improve our game. Be sure the helpful person has mastered the game, try out what they say if it makes sense, use the advice only if it works for you.

It can be heady stuff to make the tough shot, to do great work. It is even headier to take that accomplishment and keep on going, improving, learning, and staying deeply curious. It is always going to be hard, but the hard is going to change from all-around horrible to specific areas that you choose, knowing that it’s hard now but it’s going to be so worth it.

Easy is overrated.

Leave it for things you don’t care about.


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