The Practice Field

“I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one's being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God.”

~ Martha Graham

Recently I was listening to Seth Godin in conversation with Krista Tippett, host of the On Being podcast (the unedited version). My ears perked up when he recounted a time that he chose to “fire” one of his biggest clients because they were jerks. It was a bold, brilliant, and yes, a financially risky move. His reason for drop-kicking that client out the door? He didn’t want his company to get good at working with jerks!

His story inspired me to call Alaska Airlines earlier today. We’ve been mileage plan members for a long time, and probably always will be. Not because they are always the cheapest, or have the best routes, but because of the people, and the care they take every single time I fly with them, or call them for help finding a flight or resolving a problem. They’ve proven themselves over and over again to be worthy of our loyalty. Condor, one of their partner airlines however, has not. After a recent trip on Condor, I can safely say we will never fly them again. They were jerks. I guess you just can’t trust a big vulture.

I called Alaska to encourage them to consider their partner airlines carefully. Why? Because I don’t want them to get good at working with jerks.

Seth Godin’s story applies to more than just business.

It applies to every single aspect of life.

Every single one.

We get good at what we practice.

Let’s choose wisely.

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