“Practice used as a verb means, I have to put in the work daily with patience.”
In the summer of 2008, the concept of Practice U originated from writing a poem in my 20th year of my 26 years of teaching at “RADIANT” John Ritter Elementary school inside the up and coming community of Watts, California, the undiscovered treasure of the greater Los Angeles area. The poem was titled, “The More I Practice, Practice, Practice.” It started out as an affirmation that I weaved into our morning ritual and over time it became a hit that changed the culture and confidence of all the students schoolwide. I wrote it as “brain food” to motivate my fifth grade students to focus on their “academics and a positive attitude” After adding a music track to the poem, it bolstered the teaching staff and myself to continue to work on our teaching strategies because our statewide test scores were improving. However to our surprise, our 5th grade student’s test scores were in the process of making history. Year after year, for 5 years in a row in English Language Arts, Math and Science, their test scores steadily increased exponentially from 2008-2013 in each subject area. It was from that experience that I wanted to spread the message of self-improvement and share how positive practice builds three things: progressive success, self-respect, and confidence, because we as a people can do better.
Practice U believes the first step in self-improvement is one must be willing to be taught or retaught, then guided or mentored along the way so that he or she can put in the daily work that is needed in order to evolve towards becoming a goal oriented progressively successful person with a purpose, staying away from the distractions of life and not copying the bad habits of other people.
Secondly, Practice U recognizes not all of us can be successful in becoming an elite sports figure, top of the line entertainer or a high achieving doctor, lawyer or business person making big money. However we can be successful in our work ethic and self-respect or credibility as well as self-preservation by “Building Up an A-Game Set of Skills”. The letter “A” stands for A positive Attitude, Appetite for clean eating, clean drinking, Allocating time for mental and emotional counseling or therapy, A healthy rehab and fitness routine, A clean environment, A clean conscious and Activism. We can also be successful in self-preservation by maintaining a high MVP character, meaning Morals, Values and Principles of humanity along with a strong sense of respect and understanding of the Bible to guide one’s emotions and spirit to do what’s right when nobody’s looking. Self-preservation forces us to think about the dangerous consequences of our thoughts and actions. Having such content built into one’s character is what makes a person wise and aware of the importance of exercising self-control or patience. Speaking of patience, the term simply means thinking before I speak or act and thinking before I react. Patience leads to wisdom, class and dignity, not greed, foolishness and profanity. When I internalize these standards of behavior, it becomes personal and I become committed in not crossing my MVP boundaries, because I recognize the consequences. At the same time when I fall short, I recognize I must also apologize from the heart, not from the head. I must focus on not repeating that same mistake again because I’m moving towards self-improvement. These are the practiced habits that will earn me my self-respect or credibility and self-preservation.
Finally, as a result of “Building Up an A-Game Set of Skills and having high MVP character” Practice U believes when “I have to put in the work” the outcome is “my confidence grows”. When I practice, I become stronger in overcoming my fears and move forward into developing my purpose or gift, talent, craft or specialty always presenting the very best of who I am and what I do that leads me into mastering a higher degree of myself, because I know I can do better one day at a time. When I succeed, I let my body of work speak for itself, not my emotions, because my emotions can at times be unpredictable due to fatigue. excessive pride, or frustration causing one to be defensive, loud, aggressive or reclusive. With that in mind, we highly recommend to first slow down, get some rest, be aware of your surroundings and gradually become a better practi-co-logist whose specialty is positive presentations of one’s character in the public’s eye and in your private settings.
In closing, this is what Practice U is about. It’s more than just about excelling in sports and winning awards, being the best in the visual and performing arts category gaining notoriety or being a high achiever in academics to make money, money, money. When wearing our brand, you’re adding to your wardrobe an essential apparel that reminds you to focus on your “inner self or character” along with taking care of your body with healthy nutrition, fitness and rest. In addition to, it’s equally important to put in the work in the other domains such as the spiritual, mental and emotional with the intent to move towards self-improvement. If you agree with our message, then take time to inspire someone today by sharing our content including our Practice U video on our Practice U YouTube channel featuring our theme song, “The More I Practice, Practice, Practice.” Until then, my friend…continue to move forward because we as a people can do better. Move upward in your quality of thinking, standard of behavior and continue to read our monthly blogs.
Mr. Troy E. Smith, CEO and Founder