Perfect Isn't Real
Practice makes permanent. Don’t screw yourself out of reaching your potential. You know, we’ve heard forever: practice makes perfect, practice makes perfect. No, because perfect isn’t real. There is no perfection. There’s progress. There’s reaching for better. But the decisions you make every day to either give it your all, hone in on trying to be as precise as possible, doing your very best; that becomes the type of mentality you have, the type of professional you are. Practice is going to make permanent.
Don't Skip Steps
If you skip steps because you typically run behind or you’re busy or you think, oh, it’s unnecessary, then you’re going to produce results where steps are skipped.
Let me give you an example. When I was younger, I had piano lessons from a genius professor. I don’t even know what it’s called, and I’ll tell you why in a minute. But he made his own music. He was unbelievable. When I showed up for lessons I’d play the song my own way, you know, with my own twist. Which nowadays, if you were on any of the talent shows—like The Voice, and I know this year’s the last year for American Idol—they’re typically like, “Redo that song in your own way.” Well, I was like, “You don’t have to ask me twice. All of my songs are done in my own way.”
And I remember him—his name was Dr. Kushman—and he said, “Kati, once you learn to play this the way it’s written, then you may go and play it anyway you want.” What I thought he didn’t know, but he really knew, is that I wasn’t disciplining myself. I struggled with following the rules. And I didn’t practice faithfully the way I should have. Like most people who have ever played the piano, I can sit down and play a little bit of Fur Elise by Beethoven, and maybe a couple of other things. But it was two years of trying to be a pianist and because I was not committed to practicing as best I could and bringing my A-game every time, what permanently stuck was mediocrity. I didn’t produce great results, and it never led to anything. I never really committed to honing in on the craft. I wasn’t any good and I gave it up.
Practice Makes Permanent
So here’s an example on the flip side: Practice makes permanent. I remember showing up for a work out one day. And I’m a little bit egotistical. I really pride myself—you know, if I can’t be the fittest, the skinniest, then I’m going to be the strongest, the most bad ass. And I remember showing up to one of my workouts and there was this petite, really pretty girl who came with her amazing outfit, and she was a boss. She was lifting heavy, going fast. And I was like “Oh hell no. Okay, I’m not going to let this happen.” So it was Christmas Eve, and I put on all this weight to do a dead lift. Even the coach looked at me and was like, “Oh, that’s a lot.” I think it was like 230 pounds. And he said, “You know that’s 230 pounds?” And I said, “Yeah, I know, I got it, okay?”
And no…I didn’t. The second time around in the circuit we were on, I pulled up and—pop—something in my upper butt cheek snapped. And I set it down and I looked at him, and tears were coming up in my eyes, and I was like, “…I have to go, I have to go now.”
Luckily I called my chiropractor and they were willing to see me on Christmas Eve. So I went in, and I had a herniated disc. Long story short, this was probably a little bit of a tear in my upper buttocks/lower back. So, that was really stupid. And I probably could have been like, “I’m going to give up, because that’s embarrassing and I made myself look like a huge A-hole.” But instead, I decided: I really want to get good at lifting properly. So I scaled it way back, I took my time, and two years later, my deadlift max is 245 pounds.
And I feel like obviously that’s not perfect, it’s not the best it could ever be. But it’s a hell of an improvement and I do it safely. Why? Because practice makes permanent, and I took the time to scale back and do things step by step.
Reach Your Full Potential
I think sometimes as beauty professionals—especially if you’re fresh out of school—you want to be a Master level right off the bat. You don’t want to be level one! You are in school and you’re subjected to that level and you come into a working environment and you want to get on the floor right away, you want to get after it. I totally get it. I was that same person, no surprise.
But there’s something to be said for taking your time. Now, luckily, I had skills beyond the technique that brought me significant success, even fresh out of school. And I’m going to get into those in topics to come. But I dove into as much education as possible, because all of the sudden I realized…I am around fantastic professionals. These hairstylists, barbers, they’re doing work at whole other level. And instead of basically faking it until I made it, there are instances where that can happen, but also instances where you need to take a step back and say, what do I need to do to get from here to there?
And friends, do not skip steps. Because if you do, you are screwing yourself out of reaching your full potential.
So let’s end it with this: practice makes permanent.