How are you staying inspired? Who has the best staying power? It’s those who complement their training with influences of those who have achieved. It takes a continual dose and then an expanded repertoire of sources. You know why? It’s because you’ll get stuck. You’ll hit a plateau. Your mind will wander off. Hence; if you’re committed to continual improvement, you can schedule in your exposure to influence. You can make it a priority.
I had no clue what I was getting into upon stepping into a musical journey with the purchase of an electric guitar having experienced an introduction to music theory through piano. I sensed that those rock icons were high school dropouts with some finger dexterity learned through rudimentary practice. Well, I was delightfully short sighted. It’s true that rock guitarists may spend much of their soloing time in the pentatonic scale with fundamental chords derived from the Circle of Fifths. However; many other accomplished guitarists are in fact versed in music theory with ear training to facilitate improvisation. The instrument itself has the potential to extend into all genres of music.
Then there’s the concept of “what to practice.” There’s a propensity toward practicing what you know instead of building, switching, alternating, completing, stretching, expanding, and redirecting. I’m thinking that my guitar journey’s pathway to development is no different than any other pursuit in developing competence leading to mastery. What if we document practice sessions for planned later date reinforcement? What if we engage interpersonally with those who can supplement ideas? What if we intertwine the learning experience from our hobbyist pursuit with other facets of existence? Staying inspired inherently means not only the act of interpreting a production which compels but also looking deeper into the person behind the piece.
First of all, are you spending the time? Secondly, are you spending it the right way? Thirdly, are you manifesting enjoyment of your pursuit through applied education? If you don’t have the time now, will you be sufficiently inspired at ground zero with the onset of retirement?
Should you compete? I contend you should. Mankind’s betterment and the fulfillment of one’s individual aspirations are served by competition. The motivating instinct is bread from dissatisfaction. Should it be the Jones’ next door that you source as your opponent. No, but it should be someone who has what you want so that you can get your own or better so long as the target is inherent to yours or society’s common good.
The notion of not competing puts one on a path of contentment which can be instilled from feedback accumulated over time that one may not deserve victory. Your boss certainly doesn’t want you to compete. He doesn’t want you to take his job. Your spouse doesn’t want you to compete for fear that the relationship becomes imbalanced. Your pastor doesn’t want you to compete lest it create anxiety around scripture interpretations. Your teacher doesn’t want you to compete considering it might make work by stressing curriculum boundaries. Yet, our system of economics in western civilization is set up for you to compete and some lack want of a win. Regressing from competition is akin to defining oneself by losing when in essence losing should be considered a seed for future growth. We were all born to win but the aforementioned feedback loops creates sideline dwellers.
When teams are destined to miss the playoffs, players don’t become motivated to lose as an incentive to earn a better draft pick. Players fight for a victory in pursuit of excellence and pride for what they do. It is an instinct of the human form which cannot be denied. You are no different with exception to possible cognitive forces arising from environment.
The zero sum game doesn’t always apply. Win win relationships and transactions are created everyday by people keen to compete.
May 21, 2007
Learned this term Eustress in “Growth and Development” class in university. Was reminded of it on a conference call a few months back and again today upon leafing through one of my fave’s by Mandino.
“All too often we humans indulge in the cowardice of being too ‘careful’, selling out for a promise of security. And we get cheated. You’ve ssen it. The futility of using ones job as a place to hide. It’s futile to live for some future time when things will be different, believing that as soon as ‘I’m older,’ richer,’ ‘more educated,’ (or in a more sophisticated vein: ‘when I finish my therapy’) then all will be well ….dream on, for these are but futile delusions.”
– Og Mandino
The thoughts you processed today are enormous and they make up your identity which oftentimes goes unpublished and open to constant editing. The filter is mostly set to high and Og claims that you “insure yourself against danger.” Indeed, we’ve been conditioned to hold back in a fashion confined to society’s norms but have we not taken this lesson too far by repressing our inner most sanctum which reflects our true identity? Since when has the liberty police imposed sanctions against your free will to act passionately in a way that serves yourself and your fellow man? Speak up and be heard my friends.
“The pilgrims and the people with Columbus didn’t board up on three ships and come to America to get a job.” – Severn