The Power of Practice

A founding purpose of Midlaw & Divers Items was to learn about blogs. And the immediate learning was that they take time and discipline.  Not an Act but a Habit

In my case, making a rough commitment to post something once a week or so is a burden, although it has paid off in modest ways. Unexpectedly, the continuing business about hummus has put me in touch with people from all over. The spots about 19th Century lawyers fed into a presentation at the UNC Festival of Legal Learning that put me in touch with others. And the stuff about law firms has led into presentations to North Carolina Bar Association groups and more connections.

Also, writing things down has forced me to examine them at a different level and I have learned from that.

This points to two themes sounded here before. First, is the value of the “examined life,” which was Socrates’ point, later  applied to law practice by Jim Williams and commented on here. Second, is the primacy of practice over inspiration – an Aristotle point, carried forward here some time back.

A worthwhile article posted this week by Maria Popova, entitled The Pace of Productivity and How to Master Your Creative Routine, emphasizes the power of sustained practice. She quotes Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Popova draws from Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind, edited by Jocelyn Glei. She also quotes Glei, quoting Gretchen Rubin quoting Anthony Trollope:

 “A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.” Over the long run, the unglamorous habit of frequency fosters both productivity and creativity.

All of this arises from my fretting about making no posts here for three or four weeks, while I have been diverted by other things.

What would Aristotle say? Or, Socrates? Or, Trollope?

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