The Test and the Practice are one and the same.
The Test is high-stakes and high stress — to be tested is both a verb and a feeling. You grimly await judgement: success is rewarded with advancement and favor handed down by Authority, and failure is met with bitter denial, rejection, and even punishment.
The Practice is low-stakes by design — it’s such low stress that sometimes we forget to even show up! Failure is met with introspection, insight, and learning. The Practice is when we gather data, and sift through our sample set of small failures, looking for the patterns that lead to success — and for those of us with more fight left, a resolution to try again, and do just a little bit better next time.
Who can say that Learning ends at The Test? Have the tests in your past in fact further sharpened your Learning? Sometimes ruthlessly, and at great personal cost?
If Learning is imparted during both The Practice, and The Test, what’s the difference between them? If this Test is actually just Practice, shouldn’t we then approach it with calm curiosity as to what we’re about to learn next?
And if this Practice is actually a high-stakes Test, shouldn’t we make sure to show up focused, rested, and ready to deliver our best, so we can walk away with no regrets?
Yes — but don’t take it too seriously, (after all, it’s just for Practice). 😉