Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including thoughts on feeling energised, a 6-year-old’s goals, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and more Here we go…
#1 – The power of goals from a 6-year-old’s perspective
I don’t want to be one of those parents who harp on about their kids all the time.
The thing is though, Archie (my 6-year-old son) gives me regular reminders of many of the things I teach and preach on guitar.
For instance, about a month ago, he asked me for a Nintendo Switch.
He’s never asked for a console like this, so I said “sure,” but only if he completes a few goals or tries his best to do so.
The goals are mostly fun things like doing a little magic show for family, playing 3 songs on his keyboard, reading 100 short kids’ books (a goal his school gives the kids), and swinging across from one side to the other on the “monkey bars”.
He completed the last goal yesterday, and he was over the moon.
All the things on the list were things he’s interested in, but with Archie, he tends to not complete things, so this was my way of encouraging him to finish things off – especially things he loves.
I’m a big believer in you rewarding yourself when you achieve goals – especially with things you love, like guitar.
Many people feel guilty that they don’t practise enough or dedicate enough time to the guitar, even though it’s been a lifelong dream for many.
There can be many reasons why, but giving yourself a few tasks to complete and getting an exciting reward at the end is always a nice idea and can help overcome these feelings.
#2 – Feeling energised
Since I’ve moved house, I’ve started riding my bike a few times per week.
Where I used to live, going for a bike ride was like dancing with death.
The roads there were deadly and one time I went for a ride I was nearly knocked off by a truck as I turned out of my street.
That was enough to put me off!
Where I live now though, it’s so much better.
There are hills, there’s a park to ride through, a long smooth cycle lane, a fast downhill, an industrial street, and a big pond to go round.
Going for a quick ride and seeing all these sights is fun, and to be honest, I tend to need exercise to feel good.
When I get back, I tend to be more creative, enjoy my guitar even more, and feel energised…
I’m not sure if it’s the exercise or all the different sights and sounds, but getting out there in the fresh air, feeling energised helps my playing.
A few students say the same. Having a break and going for a nice walk really helps them and their playing when they get back.
Do you ever find exercise helps your playing or creativity?
#3 – Focusing like Arnold Schwarzenegger!
I remember once reading about Arnold Schwarzenegger.
When he arrived in America, he had many goals.
Over the years, he became Mr Olympia, a famous actor, became wealthy, got involved in politics, inspired others to be healthier, and more.
What he’s done is crazy really, but one thing that stood out was that he didn’t try to do all of this at once.
He chipped away over the years.
Once he had achieved his bodybuilding goals, he shifted gears and then focused fully on acting for years, then he switched it up again.
The point is, he wasn’t trying to achieve a million different things at once.
He had laser focus.
That is something I urge everyone to have on guitar.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to have fun and variety, but it’s wise to have one main solid goal which you are very focused on.
For some of you, this will be fingerpicking, strumming, learning a complete song and playing it to a high standard, and/or Travis picking with confidence.
If you want to focus, especially on the things mentioned above, then you might want to check out my Tom Dooley Mini Masterclass course.
It’s on sale until midnight tonight (PST), which is 8:00 am UK time tomorrow morning, at which point the price will go up.
If you’ve been thinking of getting the course, here’s the link to find out more…
Hope you enjoyed that and have a great Monday!
P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.