Another quote from Tristan Gylberd:
If you always go where you have always have gone and always do what you have always done, you will always be what you have always been.
Odd little bookshops
I suppose that depends on how narrowly you interpret “what you have always done”. Narrow enough and it’s a meaningless tautology.
Read more broadly, I’d like to contrast Gylberd’s implied advice to branch out with the saying “practice makes perfect” and description “jack of all trades, master of none”.
The kind of practice that makes perfect is what psychologists call “deliberate practice” and it’s not doing what you’ve always done. It’s practice with the intent of improving some specific aspect every time. It’s the difference between how a professional musician practices and someone who has played for years without getting any better. The latter really are doing what they’ve always done. Or as they say of some programmers: they don’t have 10 years of experience, they have one year of experience ten times over.
I suppose it’s a difference of working on the same problem versus using the same approach.
What’s fascinating about the above quote is that it makes perfect sense in one way to some and in a completely opposite to others. I now live in South Dakota after a life of moving around and being shaped by curiosity for the first 30 years of my life. Many people in South Dakota, and probably a lot of other rural type places find a lot of appeal in keeping everything status quo: if each day can be identical to the last, if each person could stay exactly as they were, if each place were to never exhibit change or growth, it would be “good.”
I get the sentiment behind the quote in a different sense, however; for me it’s all the more impetus to travel, to challenge myself, to experience different things so that I can change and hopefully grow.
John D. Cook
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