To become good at something, you must have passion. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, he states that a person must spend at least 10,000 hours practicing a skill to become proficient at it. I started playing guitar a couple of years ago and if I’m lucky, I get 30-40 minutes of practice 2 or 3 days a week. If you do the math, you’ll realize that it’s going to take me many years to reach 10,000 hours.
Along this journey, I’ve discovered many things about music, persistence and goal setting. Here are three key lessons that guitar playing has taught me:
Love what you do
Although I know I will never be the next Jimi Hendrix, I love playing the guitar. It gives me a sense of peace and helps me to relax. There is something about having my fingers connect with the wood and steel that pleases my soul unlike anything else. Loving what you do is important because your passion will provide the internal motivation you’ll need to push past the difficult times.
Share your passion
Passion is contagious. Learning to play the guitar at age 40 was not easy, but my passion has inspired my friends and family to pursue their interests. My wife started writing her script, my cousin started blogging again, and my daughter decided to try out for the orchestra. Never miss an opportunity to share your passion. It could change another person’s life.
Never give up
There are times when I get frustrated that my playing skills aren’t where I’d like them to be. If I start to feel discouraged, I step away from the guitar for a day or two. During this period, I listen to my favorite music, watch some YouTube videos, or read some guitar related books or magazines. When I pick up the guitar again, I feel invigorated and inspired to keep playing. If you want to be really good at something, you must relentlessly push past your comfort zone.
Even if you don’t have 10,000 hours to spare, you can make improvements in your life through hard work, dedication, and patience. It’s never too late to pursue your passion.