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> Focus And Overfocus
Ben Higgins
post Jul 3 2015, 11:28 AM
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Goal setting is an important part of learning and developing on the guitar.

A lot of the time we just fall into things accidentally because somebody showed us the first steps and we liked what we experienced. We make a bit of progress and we're enjoying what we're doing. This is quite often enough to sustain quite a large part of our early development in any new hobby or skill.

But at some point we start to want to do be able to do certain things within this new hobby. This is usually where goals come in. Having a goal to work towards is good because it centres our focus onto something specific. Instead of our time and energy being scattered about, not really achieving anything, we harness our efforts into something more specific which brings more positive results.

But when can focusing on something be a negative thing? Over focusing on a goal actually directs our energy to obsessing about what we want instead of applying it to developing the behaviours and skills that we need to get there.

It's like constantly looking at the weighing scales instead of exercising. Or constantly watching Yngwie or MAB videos instead of practising your picking!

Wanting something and recognising it is good. This is only the first step, however. Once you know what you're aiming for, then it's the time to take your focus away from the end result and get to the grafting.

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In short, you have to become the person you need to become in order to reach that desired result. The focus needs to be directed at what YOU can do right now. Your behaviour, your thoughts and your beliefs are things which come from you so if there are elements of all of those which are not serving you in a positive way then you know now that it's your job to alter them so that they are the behaviours, thoughts and beliefs of somebody who can become better at X, Y or Z.

Wanting isn't enough. We need to become one who has the skills to get it. That is why we shouldn't focus only on the goal / desire. We're spending too much energy on something which is actually outside of our control. It is our actions that are in our control, which is what will eventually lead to achieving the end result we seek.

If you think about it, it applies perfectly to the practise of a musical instrument. We want to be able to play something so we practise. We don't sit around hoping that we'll wake up tomorrow and somebody has gifted us with the ability to play all the rhythm parts to the "..And Justice For All" album. We all know that focused practise is the only thing that is going to lead us to that goal. Yet we sometimes forget not to over focus on the goal. It's ok to want something. Just don't want it so much that you forget to actually do something about it. Become the person who can do the things you want.

Focus on what you need to do, what you need to become, the skills you need to have and the goal will be reached... probably when you're not even thinking about it.


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Caelumamittendum
post Jul 3 2015, 02:28 PM
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Good post, Ben! smile.gif


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Phil66
post Jul 3 2015, 03:54 PM
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Nice one smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Jul 3 2015, 06:28 PM
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Great post! Sort reminds me of the Ahhnuld post I saw on FB the other day. Some great points in that one as well. He talks about deciding what to be and just becoming it, in many ways, by simple determination and focus. Other actors were looking for bit parts and Arnie insisted on leading man roles. Politicians started in local office, he went straight to the governorship. KISS has some similar things to say on the subject. Gene in particular. They wanted to be a "big" rock band so they would have these free shows, with free beer, and then invite record folks who would show up and see throngs of people going crazy for kiss.

I often tend to get a bit too hyperfocused on things personally and sometimes loose site of the broader picture. This is something I still struggle with. I'll get so obsessed on nailing a picking pattern that I'll forget it's no good unless it's working on the context of playing music. Keeping that balance is key smile.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Jul 3 2015, 07:39 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jul 3 2015, 05:28 PM) *
that balance is key smile.gif


That ever elusive, ever frustrating balance!


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Caelumamittendum
post Jul 4 2015, 01:35 PM
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Do you have any concrete tips for obtaining this balance though? Is it just being aware that helps?


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Ben Higgins
post Jul 4 2015, 07:32 PM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Jul 4 2015, 12:35 PM) *
Do you have any concrete tips for obtaining this balance though? Is it just being aware that helps?


Oh hell no, I definitely don't have the tips for finding balance smile.gif Balance is something we all need which we sometimes manage to achieve but it doesn't always last. Then we have to find it again.

I don't think anyone out there is always balanced in life.. but as you've said, self awareness is one of the best steps you can take in life


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Todd Simpson
post Jul 5 2015, 10:35 PM
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Well said smile.gif I personally really struggle with balance as I tend to go full bore on things and then only later realize I've got a bit overboard on whatever. Being aware of balance is a great first step smile.gif


QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jul 4 2015, 02:32 PM) *
Oh hell no, I definitely don't have the tips for finding balance smile.gif Balance is something we all need which we sometimes manage to achieve but it doesn't always last. Then we have to find it again.

I don't think anyone out there is always balanced in life.. but as you've said, self awareness is one of the best steps you can take in life



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