It’s been about 2 months since I began learning to play the electric bass guitar.  Although I’m getting better I continue to realize just how much there is to learn.  I also realize that getting better doesn’t just happen because I want it to.  The only way I’ll get better is by practicing.

The thing about practice is that it takes work.  There is a commitment to practice required to learn and master any new skill.  This is often the point where people weed themselves of out acquiring a skill, because progress doesn’t come quick or easy, and practicing just seems too hard.  It is here that you need to decide how committed you are to practicing this skill to achieve the results you’re after.

Learning to play the bass has been interesting (and fun) in this regard, because I can feel the tension between my current skill-level and where I want to be.  I also know that consistent practice is what it’s going to take for me to improve.

The alternative to practicing is giving up on my desire to be a good bass player because it takes too much effort.  What kind of choice is that?  How would that help me?  I’d still want to know how to play the bass, but giving up would only set me on a course where that wouldn’t happen.

The truth is, if we want to learn something new, we must be willing to consistently commit time to practicing.

If you’re struggling to learn a skill, or are getting ready to begin learning one commit now to practicing consistently.  Know that it will likely get challenging, but ultimately your consistent practice will put you on the path to mastery.


This is What Discipline Looks Like

I used to play the drums when I was in high school.  Although it was fun to sit at my drum set and play, I was never very good.  What held me back was my unwillingness to put in the disciplined practice to master the fundamentals and hone my skills.  Eventually, I gave up the  drums to pursue other interests.  Looking back, I wish I would have stuck with it and been disciplined in my practice.

Since I’m familiar with drumming, I’m always interested in watching really good drummers perform.  Earlier this week, I came across a video of a performance by Neal Peart, the drummer for the band Rush.

This guy is awesome!  When I first saw the video, I was amazed at how easy Neal made playing the drums look.    As I continued watching, it became apparent that he has also spent thousands of hours mastering his craft.  He was obviously both willing and disciplined to pay the price to achieve mastery. His performance was a striking example of what the results of discipline look like.

Is there a craft or skill that you want to master or hone?  If so, realize that it will take time and effort.  However, most important, if it’s something you really want, commit yourself to its disciplined pursuit.  Be willing to put in the time required.  Neal Peat didn’t become an excellent drummer in a single day.  Neither will you achieve mastery of your craft in a single day either.  Like most things that are worthwhile, it will take time.

Be willing to put in the time.