You don’t have to be good all of the time. You just have to be good when it’s time.
There are lots acts, events and opportunities that we face every single day. Life is a practice. We practice how hard we apply ourselves, how disciplined we want to be, how precise and clear we want to come across, how easy we make something look. Every day is a practice for the big moments.
You see we have chances to learn every day. We will make mistakes and fail, but we will be presented with opportunities when it’s clutch time and we must deliver. That’s when the various mistakes and stumbles are forgotten. Clutch time is the moment that you will be judged and measured.
It’s a lot of pressure and not always fair because some people will do better in the moments leading up to the big event(s) and others will fly under the radar and surprise you out of nowhere when the spotlight is on.
Athletes face this all the time. Every competition or game means something until you get to the final game, match, or meet when it means EVERYTHING. Athletes are remembered by how they perform at the Olympics, World Series, NBA Finals, Super Bowl, etc. They often make a name for themselves when everyone is watching.
Same with students. There are a lot of little tests and assignments that lead up to the finals. You could do so so on the homework and quizzes and ace the final and you will do well.
You could practice performing, but the skill will truly be assessed when everyone is watching the show, concert or performance.
And always, some will do better than others. For a perfectionist like me, it’s a good reminder that you don’t have to be exact all the way along as long as you deliver when it matters. My wise mother told me to take a breath and proceed calmly, especially for the big moments. If you work hard and stay calm, it will all work out.
“One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master. He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren’t enough hours in the day, but if we do each thing calmly and carefully, we will get it done quicker and with much less stress.”
— Viggo Mortensen