Practicing is a funny thing. I remember (along with my family and roommates over the years) suffering terribly with a severe case of perfectionism. It affected everything negatively and I felt that I had lost the battle even before I took the violin out of its case!
The act of practicing is so much calmer now, even dare I say, enjoyable. My eye is now on pursing excellence, doing the best that I can in that exact moment and letting go of imperfections and even seeing beauty in the flaws. I am enjoying the process so much more….
A fantastic book that had a huge influence on how I now view practicing is Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. I especially love the chapter on how it takes 10,000 hours to gain proficiency with something. It changed the way I view practicing and I apply it daily to the hours that I currently practice. I figure that I’ve already reached 10,000 hours in my lifetime so far and now I am keeping track of my second 10,000 hours. It makes practicing so much more fun and motivating when I’m marking down the hours I play each day, week, month, and year knowing that I’m getting closer and closer to the next level of proficiency with my instrument.