My mother had two overused sayings about attitude that I didn't fully appreciate until recently!
“Practice makes perfect,” was generally reserved for one of two occasions.
Either my fingers were sore from the old keys of an ancient upright piano during practice or I was on the ground after being bucked off a horse.
The other was “don’t get cocky!”
This saying was usually blurted out at very similar events, but there was a difference in its use. [pullquote]
I only have 3 questions!
Is that the pocket on my jeans or my shirt, what am I checking him for, ticks and which way is north?
I didn’t realize until I was much older what prompted my mom to use one saying over the other. I’ve long since given up practicing the piano but started back to practicing riding horses. In trying to improve my skills, a couple of months ago I took up barrel racing while riding horses and I’ve discovered this just might be a sport for young people and cowboys, and I’m neither!
In learning the new skills needed to try barrel racing on a horse, this is how it was explained to me before my first practice with a “cowboy” trainer:
Now you’re gonna lope a circle to the right to get him (the horse) on the correct lead then lay them spurs on and run him to the “the pocket.” (said with reverence) When you’re in the pocket AND your leg is even with the barrel, you’re gonna check him on the south side of the barrel then bring him in REAL close to the north side of the barrel. Put your eyes on the next pocket and lay them spurs back on him and don’t change his leads until you check him for the second barrel…turn your second barrel the same way but on a left lead then lay your eyes on the third pocket, left, turn and burn for home. Remember, right, left, left.
In response to the “cowboy” trainer’s directions, I said, “No problem.” I looked at the “cowboy” trainer and said with all honesty;
I only have 3 questions! Is that the pocket on my jeans or my shirt, what am I checking him for, ticks and which way is north?
My trainer’s reply had to be edited to protect the innocent.
Two hours later, my spurs were dull, I was pretty sure the horse needed a vet and a breathing treatment and I needed a doctor and a stiff drink to calm the nerves and kill the pain. Practice really was helping. The horse and I were starting to work as a team. I could find the elusive “pocket” between the barrels, the horse was responding really well to commands and my eyes were snapping to the next “pocket” without fail so of course…I got cocky!
As I lay in the sand fighting for the air that had been knocked out of me after falling off the horse, it came to me…ATTITUDE!
My attitude is what made the difference in the words of wisdom and training from my mother!
If I was striving for perfection with determination and grit then I got encouragement that “Practice makes perfect.” If I got an attitude and thought I knew it all then I got “Don’t get cocky”! Ah-Hah!