Portal to Practice

Photo provided by Max Pixel

There's no getting around it. After work, I need to decompress. I can't just dive into keyboard practice as soon as I walk in the door. I'm often tense and hungry. So I feed my cats, slouch in my recliner with some comfort food (usually popcorn) and catch up on email while listening to jazz.

After about an hour I'm relaxed. I make some herbal tea and eat dark chocolate, then practice for about 40 minutes.

This routine is fairly entrenched at this point (I've been doing it for about a month now) and it's rather mundane, but with a mindset change this same routine can become a portal to high performance.

I call this portal a Secret Ceremony. You can read about it on my Medium account but I'll give you the gist here:

A Secret Ceremony consists of everyday activities you do before practice or work, but the arrangement of these actions are meant to gently and incrementally narrow your focus and increase your intensity for the activity ahead.

So if I imagine each action such as going home, feeding my cats, putting on the jazz, making herbal tea and so forth is actually narrowing my focus and priming me for practice, my practice time should be more constructive. It's worked before. I did something similar before going to the gym with excellent effect. It resulted in my first book Zero to Superhero.

It's a cool mind hack. Glad I remembered it.

The Medium article explains how to make your own Secret Ceremony, if your interested in trying it for yourself.