May 13, 2016 Focus123

Kyle Lowry and the Dalai Lama

What do Kyle Lowry and the Dalai Lama have in common ? They are both commited and focused in very powerful ways.

Practice. Practice. Practice. “Do your practice and all is coming.” This a famous quote by Pattabhi Jois, the founder of Ashtanga yoga. But what kind of practice ? How much practice ? 10,000 hours ?

The Dalai Lama meditates 4 hours every morning.

“By nine a.m. … the Dalai Lama himself had already been up for more than five hours, awakening, as he always does, at three-thirty a.m., to spend his first four hours of the day meditating on the roots of compassion and what he can do for his people”

My first thought is “hasn’t he gotten it yet ?” After meditating for so many years has he not reached the top of the mountain and no longer needs to climb ? Why does he still need to practice so long every day ? What would happen if he meditated a little less or even skipped a day ? Would he become grumpy, short tempered, and lose his contagious smile ?

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The same focus applies to professional athletes.The Toronto Raptors lost game one of their Eastern Conference semi final match against the Miami Heat. Commentators chided the performance the Raptor’s star player Kyle Lowry. With less than a second remaining in Game 1 Lowry scored a breathtaking 3 pointer from the half court to tie the game. It was not enough. Throughout the game he had not performed up to his expectations. The team lost in overtime. After everyone left Lowry returned to the court. From 11pm till 1am he practiced shooting. He wanted to gain back his best game. He commented later, “It was just about being out there and having time to just reflect on things, think about the game that I grew up as a kid playing, the game I love. It’s been countless nights where I’ve done that back in North Philly.” He led the Raptors to victory in the next game and helped them win the series.

To keep your best you need to continue to practice. After his midnight sessions on the court Kyle Lowry came back to play the most impressive games in Raptor history. In Game 7 Lowry scored 36 point to help the Raptors to the Eastern Conference Finals.