Eight of Coins

“Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration.” “Those who can, do.” “It’s not how many times you fall down, it’s how many times you get up again.” “You work-a hard, you do-a good.” You may have all the natural talent in the world, but it won’t matter if you don’t use it. The only way to improve at a skill is to practice it, over and over and over again.

Talent and desire and inspiration are wonderful things, but they can only carry us so far. It’s the drive to do things, the repeated attempts, the getting knocked down, or failing, and getting back up again to try again. When we devote ourselves to a task, or a skill, we learn invaluable things both about our craft, but also about ourselves, and our place in the world. Apprenticeship and beginner’s mind are difficult, and hard work, but they lead to something bigger.

In what skills are you an apprentice? Where do you apply yourself, regardless of visible progress or reward? What are you called to practice, over and over and over, until you have mastered it? Where could you benefit from acknowledging your beginner status, and embracing the necessary work? How can you embody dedication?