Every day I reaffirm my purpose. When I sit down to practice, I'm not only working towards my somewhat arbitrary goal of playing bassoon every day for six months, I am striving towards something very important to me. My purpose is to make the world a more beautiful place. Music is my medium. Every day that I play the bassoon I achieve this purpose, even if the "world" consists of my practice room.
I build confidence. Through creation and maintenance of my skills, I build the confidence to increase the scope of influence of my music. The daily act of practicing reinforces my understanding that each of my choices is intentional. I may have no control over the weather or the World Cup, but I have ultimate control over how I spend my time.
I build and maintain healthy habits. Through choosing to spend my time practicing I'm choosing to not spend my time doing things that aren't as good for me. Since the beginning of this experiment I have eaten more healthfully, I've spent less money, I've spent more time with my closest friends and family, I've drunk less, and I've maintained healthier sleeping habits. This is all due to a burgeoning acceptance of the value of my time. If I drink or don't get enough sleep, I've thrown away hours of my life when I could have practiced. If I neglect the needs of my family or myself I lose time to worry. If I spend money unwisely I've lost not only the resource of that money, but I've thrown away all of the time it took to earn it and will need to do make that money all over again.
Do you recognize any positive side effects to your practice? Let us know in the comments!