How to Make an Effort, Not an Excuse

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make an effort, not an excuseI hear from people all the time about how someday they will get around to learning music.

This is something they really want to do, but for one reason or another, they just can’t seem to get it done.

Why is that?  What is so important that it’s keeping you from accomplishing everything you want out of life and achieving your deepest dreams?

Now, there are many legitimate reasons why you might be dragging your heels, but for most of us, we simply enjoy making up excuses rather than getting the work done.

What are You Waiting For?

I’ve been reading Today Matters by John C. Maxwell and he included a little poem that really gets at the heart of all the excuses we make for not beginning what we know we ought to do.

So Stop Waiting…

Until your car or home is paid off.

Until you get a new car or home.

Until your kids leave the house.

Until you go back to school.

Until you finish school.

Until you lose ten pounds.

Until you gain ten pounds.

Until you get married.

Until you get divorced.

Until you have kids.

Until you retire.

Until summer.

Until spring.

Until winter.

Until fall.

Until you die.

I think deep down we all know that if really want to change, grow, get better at anything, or learn something new, we have to get started.

How to Make an Effort, Not an Excuse

1. Start Now

We all have a million reasons why we can’t get started today.  Are any of them more compelling than your desire to learn how to read music, play music, or become the world class musician you’ve always wanted to be?

If you don’t get started now, will you regret it in a month, a year, or five years from now?  Make the decision that you will start right now and not waste any more time waiting around for someday to finally happen.

2. Start Small

The best way to begin is by starting small.  The bigger the change, the more intimidating it can be.  This can make you feel paralyzed leading you right back to where you started, doing nothing at all.

Take a small step.  When you can accomplish that, you will be encouraged to take another small step.

Here’s a few steps you can take to get started:

  1. Do one music theory lesson.
  2. Go through your music note flash cards for 1 minute.
  3. Practice your instrument for 10 minutes.

You can get a lot done in just a few seconds or minutes.  Don’t wait for a full block of time to open up in your schedule.  It may never happen.  Choose to do something now.

3.  Focus on the Next Step

Don’t expect to know all there is to know about making it to the top before getting started.  Much of that will be revealed to you slowly as you take each new step.

Besides, if you knew everything right now, wouldn’t that overwhelm you creating one more reason why you can’t get started?

Be Proactive

The earlier your start, the higher your odds are for success.  By getting started today, you will have more options for yourself later in life.

I am thankful for parents that gave me the opportunity to start taking piano lessons at age 7.  If it wasn’t for that, I may not be here today talking to you about music.

They planted the seed, and sprinkled it with water by using music to teach me lessons in self-discipline, hard work, and goal setting.

I went on to add the clarinet to my studies in middle school.  After that came college where I studied music education learning how to play all instruments.

Starting Early = Greater Rewards Later

For the last 10+ years, I’ve been teaching others how to do the same while actively engaging in my own continued learning.  Now, I am happy to be here providing many helpful resources for you too.

It’s never too late.  The time to get started is now.  Let’s make your someday become a true reality for today.

photo credit: Krissy.Venosdale via photopin cc

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