“Got to start by finding it, have we? Not allowed to start by looking for it?”
Puddleglum, The Silver Chair, Chronicles of Narnia
Question: Does the process begin when I actually engage in an act, or does it begin when I prepare to engage in the act?
Example: Does my daily run begin when I set foot out the door and begun to shuffle my way forward? Or did it really begin when I hoisted myself from the couch and got on my running clothes? Or did it begin when I set my clothes out the night before–shorts, socks, shoes, shirt all together so that I wouldn’t have to hunt around for anything when I decided to go run? Or did it begin when I went to bed an hour earlier the night before, instead of staying up to catch the opening monologue of “The Daily Show,” so that I’d get a good night’s rest before the run?
I’ve heard tennis commentators and coaches talk about “racket preparation.” In order to hit the ball properly, you have to have your racket in the right position relative to the ball and your body.
It’s not enough to want to do something well; I have to prepare myself to do it well. And if I haven’t really prepared, then I must not really want to do it, no matter how much I say I want to do it. So intention = discipline = ongoing, deliberate acts of preparation.