The Thursday Thesis - 21/7/2016
The Thursday Thesis is based on my experience as a Life-Coach, musical instrument retailer, guitar teacher, player, and guitar technician.
“It Just Comes Naturally...”
You know the way some people make it look easy?
They seem to glide effortlessly from one chord to the next, smoothly flowing from one melodic line into a resolving chord, seeming to only tickle the strings, caress the notes out of the guitar.
How do they do it?
What do they do that is different to what we do?
They’re two great questions, and there’s one answer to both of them.
It isn’t talent or innate ability that makes the difference: the difference is that their defaults are different to ours.
A default is an assumed condition; it is what normally happens if nothing else affects behaviour: in other words, habits.
Defaults and habits are ingrained behaviours that release your mind from the fag of thinking about every little action you make – a sort of instruction that says “always do this thing, unless something else happens”.
Habits run in the background of our minds, like the operating system of the computer or phone you’re reading this on: once you get it to work consistently, you stop noticing it is there, and can just get on and do the other stuff – texting, emailing, watching cat videos on YouTube etc.
Without the operating system, you’d have to manage each application separately, perform repetitive tasks, and work harder.
The smart operating system takes care of many jobs for you, automating and streamlining as it goes: that’s what habits do for us.
So, what habits are you running in your neck-top computer?
Which habits are virally infecting your playing?
Which habits would you like to change?
What would you like to default to?
It turns out that building better habits is one of the common traits found in the biographies of many great achievers: Benjamin Franklin, Isaac Newton, and Stephen King, to name just three highly productive people who credit their habits as the reasons for their success.
Actively creating better playing defaults and habits is simple:
You might ask yourself:
Priming your mind in this way works just like entering a new word into Google’s search box – you’ll get what you search for, what you expect to be there - simply because you are telling your mind to look for it.
Set your playing default – your search term - to “easy”, today: it could change your life.
You won’t be perfect, first time. There will be a natural resistance to change your old habits/defaults, but even that resistance and the inevitable lapses are indicators that you are making progress.
Over time the glitches and lapses will be weeded out and die away, replaced by what you really wanted all along.
I did it myself; after 19 years of butchering the guitar, I reset my defaults, and it changed my life.
If I can do it, so can you.
So what are you waiting for?
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