Uncertain times are a true test of a person’s character. Character is built upon your principles and the deliberate practice of your principles. Will deliberate practice make you better prepared? Let us find what mythology has to say about this.
Story-time: Lord Indra and the farmers
Once Lord Indra (God of rain and thunder) got upset with Farmers. He announced there will be no rain for 12 years & the farmers would not be able to produce crops. Farmers were panic-stricken. They begged for clemency from Lord Indra. Lord Indra relented. He said rain will be possible only if Lord Shiva plays his Damru. But he secretly requested Lord Shiva not to agree to these farmers. The farmers prayed to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva, being the benevolent God, wanted to help the farmers. But He promised has Lord Indra. The farmers were distraught.
The Farmers decided to wait till 12 years, except one. This farmer was digging, treating & putting manure in the soil & sowing the seeds every crop season. However, with no rain to support, the crops kept dying. Other Farmers made fun of him. He kept going. After 3 years, other farmers asked this farmer – Why are you wasting your time and energy? You know that rains will not come before 12 years.
He replied: “I know that crop won’t come out. But I’m doing it as a matter of “deliberate practice”. If I do not, after 12 years, I will forget the process of growing crops and working in the fields. Therefore, I must keep it doing so that I’m fit to produce the crop the moment there is rain after 12 years.”
Hearing this farmer’s argument, Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva, praised the farmer before Lord Shiva. She said “You may also forget playing the Damru after 12 years!”. The innocent Lord Shiva in his anxiety just tried to play the Damru, to check if he could. Hearing the sound of Damru, it rained immediately. The farmer who was regularly working in the field was able to raise his crops, while other farmers were disappointed.
Moral of the story:
It is the deliberate practice of your art that makes you better at your craft. Quit exercise and you are sure to become fat or even diseased. Deliberate practice of your craft is the essence of quality survival.
We are facing an extraordinary time in modern human history. Many people have lost their jobs, businesses. People are desperate. As I see it, people have two options. Wait for the time to pass (yes, this too shall pass) or start working on themselves.
We live in the Internet Age. Educating and up-skilling yourselves is not only easy, but it is also cheap. There are many sources on the internet, which provide quality education for free. Coursera (you can audit courses for free), KhanAcademy, Udemy, and SkillShare are some names that come to mind. Here is a free 2-month access to SkillShare premium when you sign up using this link: Signup
So, whether lockdown stays for 2 more weeks, or 2 additional months, deliberately practice your skills. Whatever trade or profession you are in, keep sharpening your skills, practice with what you have, and upgrade your knowledge. Deliberate practice will make you better prepared to face the challenge of these uncertain times. Don’t wait for rain or lockdown to be lifted. Just start. Focus on upskilling today, so that you are ready to meet the challenge.