We have a habit of wanting what we don’t need, but how often do we want what we don’t want?
What Would You Give to Be a Master Pianist?
I remember hearing a story of a amazing pianist playing at a fund raiser. During a break in her playing one of the older women who had been captivated by the melodies approached her. “ I would give anything to play the piano like you.”
Immediately the woman replied, “no you wouldn’t.”
The elderly woman was taken aback. She was a bit shocked and blurted out, almost instinctively, “Yes, I would!” To which the pianist quickly countered: “No, you wouldn’t. I have been playing 6 to 8 hours a day for 25 years. Is that a price you would be willing to pay?”
You Could Be a Rock God If You Just Play a Game
I hear a lot of people say “I wish I could play the guitar”. But do they really? I started playing guitar not long before I turned 40. It was not a habit I had from childhood, nor something I just had to “remember”. I started from scratch.
One of the things that has helped me is Rocksmith. If you’ve every heard of Guitar Hero, it’s a similar idea, but completely different. Whereas Guitar Hero makes you feel like you’re a rock god because you can push a few buttons on a piece of plastic, Rocksmith teaches you to play real songs with a real guitar.
You take a real guitar, plug it up to your computer or game console of choice and start playing great songs. At first it gives you a few notes at a time, and as you get better it gives you more and more until you have mastered each song.
If someone wants to play guitar, they can literally play a game to learn. But the reason most people don’t do it is not because it’s hard; it’s that it’s not a priority.
It Has to Matter
I require myself to practice every day. It’s not an option. The only reason I am allowed to skip is something of higher priority has taken over my day. For instance, if I had a full day of work and business tasks and it’s now a question of spending time with the kids or playing guitar, kids win.
This has to be rare at best. If I really care about improving, I have to make this a priority at crucial times even when I don’t feel like it. In addition, I still require myself to play an average number of minutes a day. If I miss a day, I have to make it up before the month is over.
You can’t want to play guitar if you don’t make it a priority. You can’t want to be a great photographer if you don’t make it a priority. You can’t have a great relationship with your kids if you don’t make them a priority.
There are two things in your life: those you make a priority, and those that you don’t care about. There are no third options. Make sure to make a priority for the things that matter most to you. If not, you may have to realize you don’t really want what you want.
I just became a fan of your page, and am absolutely inspired by your blog posts…especially this one, since I’ve recently acquired a piano, and have been toying with picking up where I left off: taking lessons from my Grandmother as an 8 year old girl. The metaphor leaks into so many other aspects of life as well…I think that we all get sidetracked and self-involved, lose motivation,or hit speed bumps of some sort that cause us to lose interest or, stamina, when it comes to pouring our energy into maintaining our most important relationships and attaining our goals. Your post is very motivational, and has been a wonderfully refreshing reinforcement of my own personal thoughts / feelings concerning where I’m focusing my energy in my own life at this particular time. Thank You, I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future!
Thanks, Michelle. I’m glad you found it inspirational! It sounds like the piano means a lot to you. I’d love to hear what wonderful progress you make on it.