Always remember ‘practice makes perfect’

Always remember ‘practice makes perfect’
“Practice makes perfect,” they say. And without question, it is true.
Take tennis, for example.
Tennis pros practice long hours each day to stay in shape. And your game will never move beyond the point of embarrassment unless
you play regularly for substantial blocks of time.
Even a simple activity like walking takes practice. Just recently, we’ve upped our walking time to one hour, and every day we walk a little farther and a little faster in that hour. Practice is what does it.
Or playing a musical instrument. No matter how many years or how well you play, you never grow beyond the point of needing to practice.
According to a quote contributed by clarinetist John Banman, Pablo Casals practised the cello four or five hours a day when he was in his mid-80s.
The November, 1993 “Reader’s Digest” clip notes that a skeptic once asked the famed cellist why he worked so hard “at his age.” Pablo Casals answered simply, “Because I have a notion that I am making some progress.”
When in 1961, Pablo Casals played in the White House at the invitation of John F. Kennedy, it was almost 60 years after his first appearance in that same White House.
Following his Paris debut at the age of 22 in 1899, Casals played for the rich and famous, for heads of state, and for common folk for more than six decades. And still at an advanced age he was striving to make “some progress.”
Pablo Casals had no misconceptions that progress would ever come without hard work. His biographer, Bernard Taper, tells of Casals soaking a painful thumb because of an infection that developed from gripping the bow, and Casals told the biographer that the cello is “an instrument that is not kind to the flesh.”
The famous cellist also worked hard to make the world a better place.
Sometimes it almost seemed music came second after his humanitarianism.
He spent many years working with refugees from his native Spain and striving for international peace. Casals always refused to play in situations that might have suggested his condoning of tyranny and injustice.
Pablo Casals lived to be nearly 100 years old. What a tragedy if this great cellist would have stopped practising at age 55 or 60 and spent the last 40 or 45 years of life without music.
And what a double tragedy if this great peacemaker would have failed to use his international fame to pursue peace and freedom from tyranny. But, fortunately, age was no barrier for Pablo Casals.
Casals opens his autobiography, “Joys and Sorrows,” with “On my last birthday, I was 93 years old. That is not young, of course. In fact, it is
older than 90. But age is a relative matter. If you continue to work and
to absorb the beauty in the world about you, you find that age does not
necessarily mean getting old.”
Those are the keys, said Casals. Absorb the beauty and continue to work.
Casals’ autobiography ended with an emphatic, “Of course I continue to play and to practice. I think I would do so if I lived for another hundred years.”
And just why should that be so surprising? When you think about it, why would anyone stop working 30 or 40 years before the end of life? Such thinking boggles the mind.
So when you’re tempted to “take it easy” because of your age, remember Pablo Casals. If he could be a world-class cellist in his 90s, what could you do if you put your mind to it?
Think about your dreams, and remember that “practice makes perfect.” And whatever you do, don’t give up now–just when you could
be “making some progress.”

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