When we’ve set ourselves a certain goal, such as taking a grade exam, or mastering a certain technical aspect of our playing, or getting out there and performing that goal can oftentimes seem pretty daunting, far away and almost kind of surreal. A bit like standing at the base camp of some snow-capped, wind-swept mountain knowing that in a few days time you’ll be all the way up there.
Sheesh. Seems weird.
And really overwhelming too. All the way up there?! But I’m all the way down here!
You’ll have plotted put the best route or routes (allowing some contingency in case something prevents you using your preferred route). But, like all great journeys, it starts with putting just one foot in front of the other and taking each step one at a time and as it comes. Some days you make more progress than others, some days you cross easy gradients and well-worn paths. Other times you struggle onward up sheer cliff faces making millimetres of progress.
So we do with our guitar playing goals.
You want to take that exam by this time next year? This is the top of your mountain. How is the best way to get ready for this summit? Which is your preferred route to take? What other routes can you take in case things don’t quite work out as initially planned?
Break it down month by month or week by week depending on what your “summit” is and when you want to get there.
And then get on with the journey!
Take the first step. And then the next. And then the next. Keep on. Even when the gradient is a little harder than you’d like, and progress is seemingly slow. Just know that the cliff face will even out eventually and you’ll likely have a nice smooth pathway to walk on just over the brow of the next bit. Just keep on.
And whatever you do, remember to stop and take a look around once in a while – check out the scenery, check out how you’re feeling, check out how far you’ve come so far.
And once you get to the summit enjoy it! Celebrate it! Celebrate that you did it and you got yourself this far. Then take a look around… All the way down there to where you came from. You did get all the way up there after all. Just by taking it a step at a time.
And then continue to look around. What do you see?
There’s another peak beyond this one! Another summit for you to conquer, another journey for you to embark upon!
Go get up there! But most importantly enjoy the journey. After all, you spend much longer on the journey itself than at your actual destination at the summit.
What summits are you going to scale in 2013?