Mid-June 2023 Newsletter
Hello, and a miraculous jubilant Mid-June to you!
Techniques or mindset: which matters more?
Welcome, or welcome back, to my newsletter.
Today's issue is about techniques for improvement vs. mindset, and which is more important.
The way to learn and improve is to study, right? Take a course, find an expert teacher, read a lot of books on the subject. Yes, this is a great start, and will give you a
solid foundation in what you need to master. However if you're hoping to be proficient, at some point you'll also need to start practicing the skills you've read about.
Imagine someone who hoped to be a great baseball player, yet only read about what was involved, never picking up a bat or a ball or a glove!
When I started on the mysterious (to me) path to improving my vision, I know now looking back that I studied too much and practiced too little. I thought about the techniques
for relaxing my vision which I had studied, much more than I actually experimented with them. Practice, practice, practice is the way to become better at anything, reinforcing that
neural pathway so the new behavior becomes an automatic habit. Pro basketball athletes have been known to spend hours perfecting their foul shots, just to remain at the top of their game.
Once I decided I wanted to tackle improving my strong myopia, I tentatively set out, though I wasn't entirely convinced this would work for me. The principles made sense: strain weakens eyesight,
therefore relaxation will let it start to improve. Could it really be that simple? I was reluctant to admit how deeply tense I was, but I needed to face this to move forward. I had half-jokingly described myself
to a friend as "a highly functioning nervous wreck". Others may have thought I had it all together, while I knew I was a bundle of worry and stress.
When trying to learn anything, motivation pulls you forward. Why do you want this? If we're chasing a goal to please someone else, like a parent or spouse, yet our heart isn't truly in it, we may start to get resentful
about all the hard work it requires. I wanted to improve my vision for myself, and for the child I used to be who had suffered so much behind those thick heavy eyeglasses. It was time to let go of that limited view of my world, and of myself.
As a child I practiced walking around the house with my eyes closed, hoping to prepare myself for a future when my sight was even worse. That was what I expected, a pessimistic attitude, certainly not
a growth mindset. I decided to accept where I was as much as I could, even though I didn't like it, then envision a clearer future for myself and start moving toward it. I could see well in my dreams, when I wasn't ever wearing
glasses, and wanted to bring those dreams into my reality. Awake, I could see clearly up close, farther if I was calm. My plan was to increase my clarity distance a bit at a time.
We need a goal we're excited about, maybe a small one at the start, then a new one when we reach that first milestone. "Getting our hands dirty" doing the practices to hone our skills is necessary, and maybe our
hands will look like these artistic creative ones as we proceed. Study and learn, practice and refine as you gain knowledge. Let the excitement you feel about improving pull you forward. Look for a role model, like
Meir Schneider who was born with infant cataracts, and after failed surgeries grew up being considered blind. A vision teacher started him on the road to clearer sight in his late teens, and now he can drive legally with no glasses. When I heard his story,
I thought if he can do this, there's hope for me too. And for you too, whatever you want to accomplish -- just get started.
To read about the benefits of consistent practice, no matter what you're trying to learn,
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You're helping many other people!
Enjoy the second half of this joyous month of June.
I'll write again in a few weeks. Take care!