A wise person claims that asking yourself, “Am I better than yesterday?” is a powerful daily life practice. Whether the answer is “Yes” or “No” during the pursuit of mastery, the practitioner’s reply must be a life-affirming, “Yes, I’m getting better at this because I practice.” Wisdom claims that answer drives doggedness through the stagnant times and frustration.
Easier said than done.
I reflect on my own pursuits which spread across parenting, painting, writing, climbing, fitness, mindfulness and admit there is no clear and simple answer. I have given up in the past. I’ve conceded defeat. I’ve believed I can’t do better. I have many excuses too, and I hate excuses. I’ve discovered that what you might call my doggedness is not certitude, but an overall concession and helpless defeat that I can’t do anything else than this.
So, without anything better to do, I continue to practice. Sometimes I remember to ask myself. “Am I better than yesterday?” But mostly I don’t.
Then, sometimes I come across a project or circumstance that reveals my progress and I get a second wind. This painting is it. It is my answer to the question. Yes, today I am better than yesterday.
C) Marika Reinke – Adventures in Art with Heart, Humor and Spirit.