The Posting-to-Practicing Ratio

How much are you posting about it on social media vs. how much are you actually practicing it in your life?

I first thought of this concept in regard to my religious practice, but I realize it can actually apply to any field or pursuit you’re involved in.

You’ll go through certain phases:

1. The “OMG Have You Guys Heard Of This?” Phase

Posting-to-Practicing Ratio:

(Posting) A WHOLE LOT :: (Practicing) just a little bit

This is when you’re just getting into hacky sack or personal development or custom craftmaking, or whatever it is you’re into. You get excited at the prospect of this new world you’re starting to be a member of, and for a while, all you post about is this great new hobby of yours…and yet, you’ve only just started doing it yourself. At this stage, there’s a natural insecurity about the fact that you’re just not that deep into doing it yet, so you compensate by posting a lot about it. It’s natural, but at some point, you have to recognize that you’re in this phase, and you need to start moving on to the next one.

2. The “Look At Me, I’m Doing It!” Phase

Posting-to-Practicing Ratio:

(Posting) Moderately :: (Practicing) Moderately

This is when you’ve started putting in some work. You’re deeper into this now, which means you’ve taken a break from reading all the blog posts and Pinterest quotes and you’ve gone and started putting some of it into practice. This is the phase where instead of posting what others have said about this, you can add some of your own thoughts or post about your own learning or journey. This is when you start moving from being a consumer to a contributor. Many can get stuck in this phase, but it’s not a bad place to live in. You ontinually grow and learn without seeming too obsessed about it. If you do continue to grow, though, you might just graduate to the final phase.

3. The “It’s No Big Deal” Phase

Posting-to-Practicing Ratio:

(Posting) just a little :: (Practicing) A WHOLE LOT

Here’s where the serious students live. When you start getting really good at or deeply involved in something, you tend to not need to talk about it all that much. The satisfaction is no longer in just talking about it, because you’ve started to reap some real rewards just from the doing of it. Fluffy talk has now become fulfilling work. And honestly, “look, it’s no big deal.” 

“So I restore classic cars on the weekends and raise their value up thousands of dollars, it’s no big deal…”

“So I can now deadlift double my body weight and then some, it’s no big deal…”

“So I’ve been blogging every day for a year, it’s no big deal…”

(That last one is aspirational for myself, of course.)

The main thing to note about this phase is that when someone has to say “it’s no big deal,” that often guarantees that YES, it’s a pretty big deal.

Now, this is a phase that many don’t realize they want…until they reach it. We think satisfaction comes from vicariously living through others who are better than us (Phase 1), but then we put in some work and start to gain momentum and believe in ourselves a bit (Phase 2), but then, the work transforms into its own reward (Phase 3), and suddenly, I don’t feel the urge to post about it anymore. I don’t feel the urge to pick up the phone and take a picture of this amazing meal I pulled off…instead, I’d be content with just serving it to my loved ones and devouring it in their company. I don’t need to show off this killer outfit I just put together…looking at myself in the mirror and walking down the street, confident in my style, is enough for me. And yes, I’m giving quite a few more examples for this stage because this phenomenon can be applied to so many things, and I want to emphasize that this phase is about quelling “the need to post.” It’s a beautiful phase to be in, because it means you’ve dived past the surface (where most people live), and gone deeper, to the point where you no longer need a crowd to cheer you on. You’re self-actualized…and funnily enough, because we’re all internally seeking this stage and admire those who reach it, you actually get the biggest audience and following once you’ve reached this phase (and how funny it is to finally have an audience now that you don’t much care for one.)

Of course, there is an even further bonus phase that you could reach if you really wanted to:

4. The “Why Would I Post It? This Is Just Me” Phase

Posting-to-Practicing Ratio:

(Posting) nothing :: (Practicing) everything.

(Otherwise known as: living.)

This is when you adopt the mindset of your grandparents. Your grandparents are epic, but at the same time, they did incredibly difficult things (like immigrate to a country where they knew absolutely no one, or manage a farm full of animals since they were kids, or traveled the world, on a boat)…and guess what? They don’t even know what “social media” is (or they don’t much care for it).

This is when you’re content to live your life, practice your craft (or religion or skill) quietly.

And maybe, just maybe, you think to yourself: “This would be a good story to tell my grandkids.”



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