I’ve been taking lessons to learn the electric bass for 3 years now. There have been a number of skills to learn, and I’ve struggled grasping many of them! When I do find myself struggling with a concept, I have come up with a 2 step process for speeding up my understanding. The 2 steps are:
- Write down my understanding of the concept and present it to my instructor
- Be open to, and ready to apply, feedback
Jotting down my understanding of a concept helps me clarify my thoughts and also presents my instructor with a glimpse into my thinking. From this glimpse, he can easily tell whether I’m grasping the concept or not. It’s really difficult to fake my understanding when I’ve just handed him a chart, summary, or sketch of how I’m interpreting what I’m learning!
It’s nice when my understanding is correct. However, most times, I’m usually missing something. It’s at these moments when my instructor can jump in and clarify a point. This is where I need to be ok with the fact that my understanding is flawed. When it is, it’s not a knock on me. It’s an opportunity to learn and grow as a bass player. Frankly, isn’t that the point of lessons: to find out in what skills you’re lacking and learn how to get better?
If you’re struggling to learn a concept, consider jotting down how you currently understand it, and give it to someone who knows the topic and will give you an honest assessment. Then be ready to learn from and apply their feedback. You’ll have inaccurate understanding to lose and new skills to gain.
When we start out on a new endeavor, we usually want quick results. Whether it’s getting in shape, learning a new skill, investing, or building solid relationships, we like to have positive results come quickly. Who wouldn’t? It’s fun and encouraging to see results!
In most cases however, results don’t happen quickly. They usually arrive slowly.
Therefore, we must put in the effort day after day, month after month, or even year after year before results begin to appear. The time between starting and results showing up is an easy point to lose heart and give up. Yet this is also the time when it’s also most crucial to look beyond the present, to that day when the results will have shown up. When the results are slow, we must be quick to remind ourselves why we want these results and also to remain committed to the process that will ultimately bring us the results we’re working toward.
If you’re currently pursuing something and you’re not seeing the results you want yet, take heart. Know for certain that results follow actions. Focus your attention knowing that your results will occur, they must occur, if you simply continue to take the actions required to get you there.
I’m writing this week’s blog post on Friday February 14, Valentine’s day in the United States. It’s a fun holiday where you acknowledge the love between you and your spouse or significant other. As I was considering this holiday today, I got to thinking that several of our annual holidays should be observed every day of the year.
Think about it, what if we celebrated Valentine’s day every day. What if the appreciation we showed for those we love was in the forefront of our mind every day, to the same degree it is on Valentine’s day? No, I’m not saying you need to go out to dinner every night of the week, or come home with candy, flowers, or other gifts every single day. I’m talking about acknowledging that appreciation thought our words and actions every day. That would certainly mean more to those we love than limiting these actions to 1 day out of 365.
Thanksgiving is another one. What if we thought about the people and things we are grateful for every day of the year? Do you think that kind of thought might have an impact on your life?
Also, if you’re a Christian, shouldn’t Christmas and Easter be celebrated each day? Again, not the gifts and Easter eggs every day, but rather the appreciation of what Jesus has done for you. That’s worth appreciating every day!
Think about your favorite holidays, whether it’s one listed above or different one. Then consider how you can implement what those holidays stand for into your every-day life, because they’re worth celebrating more than once a year.
WARNING: This week’s post about prayer and faith.
On Thursday I had a scheduled medial appointment at the hospital. Nothing major, but more than just your regular visit to the doctor. As I was about an hour away from heading to the hospital, I realized that I hadn’t told my mom about my appointment today. It wasn’t that I hadn’t told her about it that jumped out to me. Rather it was the thought that if she didn’t know I was going in today, she wouldn’t know to be praying for my appointment. I immediately called. She’d be praying. I instantly felt better.
As someone who believes in Jesus, prayer is important to me. Not just praying for myself and others, but to know that others are praying for me when I’m facing a challenge. I’m encouraged and filled with peace when I know others are praying for me. Yet I was reminded Thursday that I need to let people know what’s going on in my life so that they can pray for me. How else would they know if I didn’t tell them?
I thought about how I’d feel if the roles were reversed. What if I had found out, after the fact, that my mom, or anyone else I cared about, had gone through something significant and hadn’t told me. My first thought would have been, “It would have been nice to know so I could have been praying for you.”
Prayer is a way that others can contribute to your life. It’s a way for them to intercede, to petition God on your behalf. Why would I want to withhold that opportunity from someone?
Regardless of where you are with prayer and faith, if you’re facing a challenge, or going through something, let those who care about you know. You’ll be blessing them with the opportunity to go through life with you. They’ll be glad you let them know.
This week my wife and I have been working on several daily life decisions ranging from getting our next cat, to updating our insurance, to future spending plans. While these topics have created lots of discussion, I have come away feeling extremely grateful that we are both on the same team.
Through all the discussions and decisions we’ve had and made, we’ve both participated with the mindset that we are on the same team and are heading in the same direction… together. I’m reminded this past week how much I appreciate working as a team with her. Even when we have our differences, we understand that we both share the same last name, which makes us a team. We also realize that teams perform better when they work together.
So who’s on your team? How have you been well working with them lately? If you haven’t been performing very well as a team, perhaps it’s time to decide to start rowing in the same direction to achieve your common goals. If your team has been performing well, be sure to let your teammate know how much you appreciate them.