The Growth Mindset

  • Posted on: 28 September 2016
  • By: admin

You've all seen those ads "Play Guitar in 5 minutes", "Be a Rock God today", "Learn guitar, make a million bucks and marry Jennifer Lopez". They appeal to our desire for instant gratification and while I'm not suggesting for a second this happens in our community, it doesn't, there is a temptation to see our instruments as something of a shortcut.

Ours is a relatively easy instrument to learn, and yes you can within a matter of minutes play perfectly acceptable music and have some fun with it, but you haven't magically stumbled on to some great lost secret. The easy route is ultimately deflating. You've such a limited skill set early on that once the initial thrill has passed you'll inevitably give it up and pronounce yourself a failure. I've seen it happen over and over again.

The alternative is to accept that you're taking on a real and significant challenge, something that is worth persevering with and will ultimately enhance your life. Focus on the journey and not the destination. Accept small rewards and build them into large ones.

It can still be fun, it will ultimately be a whole lot fun, but in the end there's really no other way to do it. If there was everyone would be playing like Tommy Emmanuel or Eric Clapton or Paco de Lucia. Do you think those guys never practiced? Do you think they don't enjoy playing?

So you don't want to achieve those dizzy heights, think about what you have achieved. Think about what you are good at and how you got there, about how you worked at it, discovered you could do well, and continued to build on your successes. Take the same approach with your playing, look for small victories, celebrate them, and then build on them. Develop an attitude to your playing that will bring real success and real gratification and act on it.