Practice What Needs Practice

Today, you have a simple prompt from Marcus Aurelius: Try to improve at something you’re not naturally good at.

“Practice even what seems impossible. The left hand is useless at almost everything, for lack of practice. But it guides the reins better than the right. From practice.”

Think about all the things you’re good at. There was a time you weren’t good at them, right? But you worked at it. So let’s consciously take that process and apply it to where we need it most. You can work on speaking more clearly, letting things go, treating others generously, bilateral breathing when you swim, or coming to a complete stop when you hit a stop sign. Whatever it is, pick something and work at it today—the harder, the better. Every day, in every situation, walk in with something you’d like to improve on. It’s a recipe for self-improvement, by definition.

This approach is also the essence of “the obstacle is the way” philosophy of Stoicism. Each obstacle, everything that goes wrong is just an opportunity to practice a virtue—to give you a chance to work with your non-dominant hand. One obstacle gives you a chance to practice controlling your temper, another perseverance, another a chance to take a long walk through the park. There is always something you can do.

There is always something you can—and need to—practice on. So take it.