In the last post, I invited you to think about your music habits.
I gave you 3 simple steps to helping you change your practicing behavior and take charge of your emotions again.
This time, we are going to talk about developing patience. When we live in a world of instant gratification, it is difficult to remember that the real thrill of acquiring anything is earning it.
This requires sustenance, stamina, and patience in order to work at something over a long period of time.
Important Tips in Developing Patience
The key to keeping going when things get difficult is to keep the right perspective. Music is not a “thing” to acquire. It is a life-long pursuit that needs to be nurtured regularly.
If you’re having trouble staying focused while learning and practicing, try following these two simple tips.
Tip #1 – Become aware of what you’re thinking.
Know when you’re thoughts are running wild and dragging you with it. The only way to remain in control of your mind is to be alert to what is happening.
We have very powerful imaginations that take us from one circumstance to another. Our emotions then get involved by firing off from one extreme to another as a reaction to what we are thinking.
End the exhausting cycle by observing yourself quietly. Practice staying in the present and notice the real you, not the one being dragged through the mud of negative thoughts and running ragged.
Tip #2 – Accept that perfection is nonexistent.
True perfection is something that is always evolving, not an end result. A blooming flower is a great example of this.
It needs to be cared for delicately in order for it to slowly grow and take shape. Flowers bloom during the day and close up in the evening.
They never bloom and just stay there frozen in time. As a living creature, you are not like this either. Instead, you are always progressing, budding, and changing ever so slightly.
Thank goodness, because I don’t ever want to reach a point of total perfection without any room for improvement. I can see that as being pretty boring and unfulfilling.
“What you perceive as perfect is always relative to where you are in any area of your life.” –Thomas M. Sterner
Think of life and music as endless. There is always more to be experienced! Isn’t that refreshing to know?
There’s a sense of freedom in acknowledging that you will never run out of room to grow.
Keep your perspective straight and you will have more enjoyment in the process of learning and practicing.
Music is an Art Form
When you realize that music is a form of art, you understand that it is infinite in its potential for growth. Be prepared to let go of being “good” at it quickly.
True artists know that you must build stamina in order to continue studying something that has unlimited possibilities.
There is no end result goal to music other than just pursuing the activity and focusing on each step along the way. In other words, there are no limits as to how far you can go and or how high you can stretch.
Once you reach one goal, there is always another one to chase. Isn’t it nice to know that what you are doing has no end? This is completely the opposite of everything else in our lives.
Every day we encounter deadlines, to-do lists, appointments, etc. that sap the life out of us. Music is the one thing that never ends. It is not just something to cross off your list, but rather to enjoy each day as an escape from daily life.
This requires developing patience with your own self. We always get disappointed when we compare ourselves to others and wish we could play like that too.
Stay in the Process
However, we never get discouraged if we stay focused on what we are currently working on and take the time to celebrate our achievements. Have patience. You are still slowly evolving.
Where you are right now is exactly where you need to be. Once you see just how far you have truly come, you will realize that you are moving ahead faster than you thought.
Finding Joy in the Process
Real joy happens when you “tune-in” to experiencing your own growth and the ability to learn, moment by moment. If your goal is the capability of creating music, then you are achieving this every second you practice.
There are no mistakes being made, just a process of discovering what works and what doesn’t. This shift in your thinking will help you generate endless patience with yourself.
Learn to become patient with your progress and know that it is happening whether you take the time to recognize it or not.
photo credit: WasabiDoobie via photopin cc