Consumer or Craftsman?
“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
Those who practice habits of excellence give themselves a chance at greatness. Greatness in basketball is never achieved by choosing the best drills or most clever training regiment. Rather, you give yourself a chance at greatness by the habits you choose to cultivate. There is an endless obsession – particularly in the world of sports – with using the most innovative training equipment or learning the flashiest drills hoping these things will make you a great basketball player. Of course there is amazing potential for creativity in basketball training, but excellence is always a product of creating the right habits not a product of picking the right drills.
If we strive to be excellent, we must shift our focus from a consumer mentality to a craftsman mentality. Consumers believe that external products will give them an advantage over their competition, and initially this may be true. The problem with consumers is that as soon as a training technique, product, or service goes out of style, they immediately look to switch to the newest trend. In this process of jumping from one fad to another, habits characterized by superfluous inconsistency are cultivated. This does not train our bodies in excellence but ingrains habits that teach us inconsistency and a lack of discipline.
A craftsman understands that his/her habits are of the highest priority in the pursuit of becoming excellent. A craftsman’s greatest achievement lays in their ability to form virtuous habits that shape their entire person. In athletic terms, a virtuous athlete must train their bodies to repeatedly practice their skills and hone their talents. The primary ways to do this is through cultivating virtuous practice, training, and study habits. An athlete becomes a master craftsman in their sport when they repeatedly train their mind, body, and soul to exhibit excellence in every area of their sport. Craftsmen hold themselves to a higher standard because their craft has immense meaning in their life. They discipline their bodies in order to achieve their ultimate goal.
You have a choice to make to become a craftsman or a consumer, to accept mediocrity or pursue greatness, to slip into bad habits or to train yourself in the habits of excellence. What will it be?
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