“Practice what you preach” A famous phrase you have probably heard hundreds of times throughout your lifetime.
Why does this phrase exist?
What does it actually mean?
What are the consequences of not practicing what you preach?
My belief is that this phrase is said because when we do not, we come across as unbelievable, there will be a glitch in the way that our point gets communicated. People will pick up on a scent of untruth. They may not know why, but the point will get lost. The truth of your teachings will not be communicated or received with the strength they were intended. Why should I practice something, that my teacher does not?!
The consequences of not practicing what we preach, is coming across as a charlatan. We will express mainly through our Non Verbal Communication that we are an unintegrated human, who is not to be trusted!
I have written a book for musicians to structure their day to lives and to bring meditation and mindfulness practice to what they do, changing their attitudes towards drink and drugs as well as stories of how I messed up and how bands I have worked with have made bad decisions over the years.
I am therefore, having to re-evaluate, how my life looks, how I behave in my day to day and whether I am being true to the words that I have written. I don’t think that this will change, I believe there will, from now, be constant assessment of my own behaviour and attitudes, in order to keep checking that I will be ‘practicing what I preach’ and if not, be ready to admit that I am not, which unfortunately dilutes the message.
But, is the power of our teachings lost if we openly admit that we don’t practice what we preach?
I believe there is a balance. I think that we should show we are human. As an example, if I suggest a recommended practice and say that most of the time, I myself, do that practice, but of course I don’t always do it. Is that ok? I suggest that, in the same way I state at the beginning of the book, that the practices suggested should be adapted by the individual to suit their needs, I can also show that I do the same. As long as the majority of the time, I am practicing what I preach and when I don’t I admit it, I believe that this remains authentic.
I also make the point that, I need the book as much as anyone else. The only difference, is that I am familiar with the tools suggested and have been using most of them for many years. So, it is not to say that I don’t face challenges as a human, of course I always will. But, I become better at self-awareness and knowing what is happening and what tools I need to apply in order to overcome the particular challenge I am facing at that time.
I hope that this is a reminder to all of you Yogis, Meditators and teachers of disciplines that you admit the times you are falling and failing to your students. Do not hide behind a mask of godliness, be human and of course thrive in your knowledge of how to elevate yours and other’s souls.
Brett Leboff has been a Professional Drummer, a Music Manager and is Head of Management & Artist Development at Diplomats of Sound. His new book will be released end of May 2018 and is published by Monumental Publishing. You can find out more about the project here: www.stayingsane.org