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> Stop Stalling, Have Courage In 2015
Ben Higgins
post Dec 27 2014, 02:29 PM
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What's with the bizarre title, you ask ? Well two different thoughts sort of collided together and I thought I'd see if they could somehow relate to each other.

First of all, I was thinking about the New Year's Resolution thing. I've never really been one for that tradition. If I want to do something I'll do it when I want to, not wait for a particular milestone to pass but who cares what I think ? This tradition obviously must have some merit so what is it for ? What purpose does having a NY resolution serve ? (New Year, not New York. I don't know what a New York resolution would involve.....)

-to lay out your goals clearly, to serve as something to work towards

These are positive sounding things we could agree ?

What other purpose could it serve ?

-to make your goals public which in turn puts external pressure on you to succeed because other people know about it

That last one is not always the case. Some people keep their resolutions private but many people do make them public and then publicly 'fail' at them to the accompanying jeers of their friends etc. Using a NY resolution as a way to shame yourself into achieving something is a dangerous path to take. If it doesn't work out, you've helped reinforce a load of negative beliefs about yourself; you're not good enough, you can never complete things and not only that but now everybody else "knows it" too !

Negative motivation can be powerful because a lot of people actually work harder when there's something to lose, like their pride. Or especially if it's something more serious like their security. How hard would you work if you wanted a new tv compared to how hard you would work if you were going to be evicted from your home ? Negative motivation can be more powerful than positive motivation but ultimately we don't want to keep ourselves in a permanent state of only being motivated by possible negative outcomes.

So, whatever one's reasons for their NY resolutions are it's probably more beneficial for the individual to keep them private. Why turn it into an opportunity to look like a failure ? Surely, if you want to do something you'll just do it quietly, in your own time and then the first everybody hears about it is when you're done it, right ?

This reminds me of another thing I see a lot of on Facebook particularly. A lot of people giving hollow status updates about how they've "almost gotten 2 new songs written !" or "this new stuff's sounding great.." or "can't wait to get this new project on the go... wait and see..". I've seen things like this going on for months at a time with nothing actually ever appearing. I'm not meaning to criticise this behaviour. I understand it. They're hoping for the smallest bit of energy exchange from an interested FB user to help spur them on to actually get working. But this type of energy exchange is ultimately limited and survives only on the person's need for public approval and interest in what they're doing. They're fishing for compliments before they get any work done. Like I said, I understand this mentality but it's no good to them. It won't get anything done.

From my point of view, I see these updates and I think "That's wonderful but don't tell me what you're thinking of doing, just shut up and do it. And when it's done then impress the hell out of us by sharing it out of nowhere ! Until then, if it ain't ready, it's not happening."

I'm sure I've been guilty of a few of these types of posts in my time but when you realise that it's just a form of stalling you can turn your back on that need for constant approval and just do what the hell you want to do. And don't use fear of failure as a reason to procrastinate because remember; (and this was the second thought I alluded to at the beginning)

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So go bravely into 2015, do the things you wanted to do but don't feel the need to get approval before acting. Just do it and we'll find out when you're successful smile.gif


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Monica Gheorghev...
post Dec 27 2014, 05:20 PM
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Great topic. I'm agree and I liked everything you said.

I don't have a New Year's Resolution type of tradition. I also believe that I don't need to make a promise that "I will do this" and "I will do that" to do something. I just try to make anything it's possible for my resolutions and at the final of the year I prefer to look back at things that I already had done and to be proud.

But I have a tiny thing that I do tongue.gif In the New Year night at 00:00 I make a private wish. Not that kind of wishes like "I want to play like Andy Timmons" biggrin.gif It's mostly about having positive energy and power to work and turn my dreams to reality" wink.gif
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Darius Wave
post Dec 29 2014, 02:16 PM
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I think I don't have time to clear up my goals tongue.gif My life seems to run so damn fast that my "to do list" never comes to end smile.gif Unfortunately there are no things I could consider being less important. I think my goal is simply happening at the moment just because of all those things I do smile.gif


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klasaine
post Dec 29 2014, 05:38 PM
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QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Dec 29 2014, 06:16 AM) *
I think I don't have time to clear up my goals tongue.gif My life seems to run so damn fast that my "to do list" never comes to end smile.gif Unfortunately there are no things I could consider being less important. I think my goal is simply happening at the moment just because of all those things I do smile.gif


Me too. I sort of have a 'list' of things that should get done. If I get through half of them within the week (or day or year - ?), I'm successful. I prioritize things as I need to or they become (for one reason or another) more important.
And definitely no new years resolutions ... ever.


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Darius Wave
post Dec 29 2014, 06:20 PM
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I cought myself having problems with giving the right priority to things. For example I promise to finish the guitar by the end of the week and I could sit today and make something for my original compositions but...I feel like I don't have much interest in doing this at the moment and I would prefer to get some psychical rest while doing relatively simple, non-mind-engaged service things smile.gif ...Even I could simply do them later.


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Arpeggio
post Jan 4 2015, 01:39 PM
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QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Dec 29 2014, 06:20 PM) *
I cought myself having problems with giving the right priority to things. For example I promise to finish the guitar by the end of the week and I could sit today and make something for my original compositions but...


Your playing is excellent so I'm probably not the only one interested by what you mean by "finish the guitar". Is this a disciplined practise regime? after which you want time to do more creative stuff? or do you mean original compositions which don't include guitar?


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Darius Wave
post Jan 4 2015, 09:18 PM
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Arpeggio! Ha ha biggrin.gif You made me laught..in a good way of course! biggrin.gif
What I meant by finish the guitar is finish the serive of some particular guitar smile.gif I'm also a part time guitar service (luthier is a big word so with respect I could not name myslef a luthier).

Thank You for a compliment smile.gif I've mentioned repairing the guitars vs doing my original stuff because those two thing or totaly 2 different types of a job. Sometimes I sit with my guitar and try to spend some time on doing my stuff but I feel like I can't focus, I can't do anything creative so I go back to the service table to get some psychical rest, while still being with the guitar....just not as an operator...but as a doctor biggrin.gif


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AdamB
post Jan 6 2015, 04:03 PM
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QUOTE
-to make your goals public which in turn puts external pressure on you to succeed because other people know about it


I do this, I'm going to do a 10 hour a day guitar marathon this year and I use telling other people about it as external pressure to make sure I follow through. Not really a new years resolution but certainly something I have found myself using to push myself to do what I want to do.

I guess time will tell as to whether or not it's a good thing! Especially if I publish details of it on the internet, the internet is a harsh critic.
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Ben Higgins
post Jan 6 2015, 04:37 PM
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QUOTE (AdamB @ Jan 6 2015, 04:03 PM) *
I guess time will tell as to whether or not it's a good thing!


Is it working so far ?


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AdamB
post Jan 6 2015, 05:41 PM
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QUOTE
Is it working so far ?


Sort of. I'm confident it will happen at this point, the wheels have been set in motion and enough pressure has been put on that it is going to happen. But whether I stick with it once it starts, we'll see. I guess it depends how mentally tough I find it vs. how easy it is to give up. I think it'll be alright once I've been at it for a while.

I guess the toughest thing would be if I stick with it for a few months and see little to no improvement in my abilities.
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Ben Higgins
post Jan 6 2015, 09:15 PM
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QUOTE (AdamB @ Jan 6 2015, 05:41 PM) *
Sort of. I'm confident it will happen at this point, the wheels have been set in motion and enough pressure has been put on that it is going to happen. But whether I stick with it once it starts, we'll see. I guess it depends how mentally tough I find it vs. how easy it is to give up. I think it'll be alright once I've been at it for a while.

I guess the toughest thing would be if I stick with it for a few months and see little to no improvement in my abilities.


You may even discover something entirely unexpected during it as well. I've often found that I've intended to do one thing and have stumbled across something that helped me even more than my original plan etc... that kind of thing.


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SirJamsalot
post Jan 12 2015, 09:09 PM
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QUOTE (AdamB @ Jan 6 2015, 07:03 AM) *
I do this, I'm going to do a 10 hour a day guitar marathon this year and I use telling other people about it as external pressure to make sure I follow through. Not really a new years resolution but certainly something I have found myself using to push myself to do what I want to do.

I guess time will tell as to whether or not it's a good thing! Especially if I publish details of it on the internet, the internet is a harsh critic.


hands need rest too! Be careful with 10 hrs / day. Perhaps intersperse the physical playing with mental playing / theory, etc. ? Just a thought.

QUOTE (AdamB @ Jan 6 2015, 08:41 AM) *
Sort of. I'm confident it will happen at this point, the wheels have been set in motion and enough pressure has been put on that it is going to happen. But whether I stick with it once it starts, we'll see. I guess it depends how mentally tough I find it vs. how easy it is to give up. I think it'll be alright once I've been at it for a while.

I guess the toughest thing would be if I stick with it for a few months and see little to no improvement in my abilities.


If I were to graph physical ability to do something with practice on a chart, it would start with the first 3 months in a near vertical climb meaning your ability to learn / adapt to your instrument in the first 3 months, you'll see huge notable gains. After that 3 month mark, you'll see a near horizontal line for the next 20 years. So don't get discouraged if you don't "see" improvement over the course of one or two months, especially if you've already been playing the guitar for a year or more. Watching the kettle boil is nothing short of mundane discouragement. It's trusting you're getting better, and that the goal to be better is placed at a reasonable distance in the future, not tomorrow or next year.

I can name no professional guitarists who were professional without at least 7 years of actual hands on practice/playing. I like to emphasize this point - any 21 year old famous guitar player started when they were 7-11. Do the math in years to see how long it took them to get where are at now (21). Just sayin', set reasonable expectations smile.gif

Chris


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klasaine
post Jan 12 2015, 09:38 PM
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QUOTE (SirJamsalot @ Jan 12 2015, 12:09 PM) *
I can name no professional guitarists who were professional without at least 7 years of actual hands on practice/playing. I like to emphasize this point - any 21 year old famous guitar player started when they were 7-11. Do the math in years to see how long it took them to get where are at now (21). Just sayin', set reasonable expectations smile.gif

Chris


+1
I've said many times that takes about 10 years of solid 'work' to be competently mediocre. I'm talking on stage with a band.
It's more about how and what you practice each day than how long you practice each day, within reason. 3 focused and efficient hours a day is way better than 7 hours just jamming to tracks or whatever.
I know a lot of guys that spend a lot of time playing and don't really learn too much. I also know guys that are able to put in a solid 2 or 3 hours of efficient practice per day, maybe 5 days a week, and improve by leaps and bounds.

*I go in cycles. There will be some weeks where I'll play most of the day and then there's days, weeks even months where for whatever reason I won't/can't/don't want to consistently practice. I've been like this since I was in high school. My 'talent' (lets say) is knowing what I need to work on.

I do believe that any serious or aspiring 'serious' player does need to put in a few years where they play/practice 3 or 4 hours a day, everyday, for a couple of years. That amount of dedication gets you becoming one with your instrument. And actually after that, you instinctively know what you need to do too accomplish whatever musical task/goal you've set for yourself. You also need to play with other musicians during this time. Get in a band ... or three!

This post has been edited by klasaine: Jan 12 2015, 09:40 PM


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AdamB
post Jan 13 2015, 12:16 PM
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I feel like this is what is needed to push me over the edge into being a skilled musician. I've been in the plateau of the heavily mediocre for so long now.

Some background; I've been playing guitar for a long time now, I started about around 7, played on/off until I was 18 when I started to take it more seriously. At 21 I started practicing >4 hours a day, doing mostly technical exercises (until then I had done no alternate picking, sweeping, tapping etc.). I'm now almost 29. At 21 when I started to practice, I began writing my practice routine out; 30 mins of picking this, 30 mins sweeping that, 1 hour learning scale x etc. I started adding the hours up, but I was logging it all on my computer. My computer then died, and I lost the data, I'm not sure where I got to but I think I was a little way over 2000 hours.

So then I started again, logging on paper now. My practice has slowed since then, as I started working full time, but I'm still doing 4 hours a day 5 days a week. So now I'm back up to a little over 3500 hours of logged practice. So In total I estimate I'm somewhere over 5 or 6 thousand hours of practice into my learning now, if I count the 2k I did before and add a little extra for whatever I did before I started counting..

I feel like for the amount of work I've done I should be somewhat better than I am, as I still feel slow, sloppy and am missing huge chunks of skills I need. I can shred solos out that sounds awesome one day, but then the next I sound absolutely terrible, like I'm a beginner again. There's no consistency in my skill level.

So now I'm just going to throw everything at it and resolve it one way or the other. Either I'll push myself over the mysterious edge into being consistently good, or I'll learn that there's something more fundamentally wrong than just practice hours.

I will be breaking it up somewhat, at least at first. The first challenge will be doing it for 1 week, and I will probably blog about it. Then I can perhaps take a couple days off and then start over again. This also gives me a chance to inject rest periods for my hands if they need it, and to work on other projects (I make video games, too, which is how I make money).

This post has been edited by AdamB: Jan 13 2015, 12:46 PM
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