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I get a lot of questions via Twitter about guitar goals and how to keep motivated, so I thought I’d write a post on guitarist productivity.
In the past I have done some things using discipline in order to accomplish a goal, but it never brought me what I wanted or what I expected. Later I realized why discipline didn’t work out for me.
Discipline is forcing yourself to do something you really don’t want to do in order to achieve a goal you think you do want. Doesn’t that sound strange to you? Well I’ve learned my lessons.
As a Chinese proverb says: “The journey is the reward”. What it means is that you have to enjoy what you do all the way or make sure you enjoy it and forget about the destination or success what so ever.
Everything is about the journey, about what you are doing right now. Make sure you love what you do. It’s the number one rule to guitarist productivity and everything else in life.
Let’s get into it:
Passion equals motivation
What is your favorite part of being a musician? Are you crazy about the blues? Do you love writing songs? Lies your strength in playing metal riffs? Are you obsessed with jazz improvisation? Do you just simply want to learn how play and sing cool songs?
Find out what your true passion is. Think about what part of guitar playing makes you want to pick up that guitar and do what you need to do. When you are driven by passion you don’t have to motivate or discipline yourself. Your passion is the motivation.
Setting a goal
Choose a goal you want a achieve (learning a new song, writing a song, making a cd, learning to play the blues or jazz, performing on stage, making a living of music) so you have something nice to look forward to, but make sure you are driven by passion and fun.
Everyone is motivated the first day they set a new goal, but motivation quickly runs out after a few days if the goal is not really driven by passion or fun. Create a circumstance and environment where you enjoy what you do every second of the way.
I’m not a big fan of setting a tight deadline because it puts the pressure on and it keeps me from living in the now and enjoying what I do in the very moment. You can strive for a certain day or month to finish your project or to achieve a goal but don’t get hung up on it too much. Just enjoy what your doing, take it step by step and the project will finish itself.
As you get older your personal time becomes more precious because of your daily responsibilities, running errands, doing chores, obligations, etc. If you really want create some valuable time for yourself then waking up earlier is a great tool.
Waking up early gives you undistracted time to focus on your passion and goal. It gives you an amazing head-start on the day and provides you with a great feeling of satisfaction.
Waking up early is a perfect time for solitude and pure productivity. Try it!
Choose as few goals as possible but focus on only one goal at a time. If you have too many goals you will end up achieving just a little bit of everything instead of something really great.
The best is to make a priority of your biggest goal and focus on that. Clear all distractions while you are working on your goal. Avoid being distracted by people (create solitude), stay away from Facebook and Twitter, turn of your mobile devices and follow your passion with undivided attention.
The perfect moment
Do what you want or need to do, but get to the point. Do the right things and do them now! Don’t wait until you bought better equipment or mastered a certain skill. The time is now.
If you want to write a song, write it now. If you want to start a band, start it now. If you want to make a cd, start recording now. There is no such things as a perfect moment to achieve your goal.
Do it now and correct mistakes along the way!
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