The Panacea is in the Practice

There may be no “gamechanger” and no “magic bullet” to reduce stress, improve wellness, or to otherwise make positive changes in life. The instant gratification from a quick fix is like a promissory note that can only be paid off through practice. When in search for a cure, for transformation, or for lasting change, the unsexy truth is that the panacea is in the practice. What often seems like drudgery, impractical, or otherwise impossible is actually one of the most fundamental imperatives of progress, success, and an inner sense of peace: consistent practice.

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We are collectively approaching a new year, 2021, and collectively we are leaving behind a year that will never be forgotten. The year 2020 has disrupted our lives with unceasing uncertainty. We have either adapted to it, been exhausted by it, or totally succumbed to it in terms of our collective health, mental health, and overall wellbeing and general functioning. The year 2020 has given us all an opportunity to practice things like living one day at a time, letting people we love know how much we love and appreciate them, or cultivating new relationships that may continue for a lifetime. In other words, in 2020 we practiced more of who we really are as humans. Many of us may not see it this way, or perhaps only see the worst parts of our humanity.

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Many would like to heed the call to evolve beyond the limitations we’ve been confronted with during this era of COVID. Maybe many will choose instead to get things “back to normal” as quickly as possible. Those who experienced 2020 as a catalyst for lasting change have likely already begun to put in place the kinds of daily practice that produces positive results. Each day is a day to begin anew, to refine old skills, develop new ones, and help move us all in the direction of progress. From the sculptor Elizabeth King, highlighted by Seth Godin in his recent book “The Practice” and discussed on a recent Tim Ferriss podcast, this is an excellent quote to ponder, a lot: “Process saves us from the poverty of our intentions”. I like to substitute practice for process because it is basically synonymous in this context. To elaborate even further, there is the notion that self-consistency may help save us from the erosion of self-trust.

Published by Dr. Rick Barnett

Licensed Clinical Psychologist-Doctorate, Addiction/Recovery Specialist, among other things...

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