Whew! I feel awesome! Yeah, buddy!
That practice was pure gold… like a refreshing splash of sunshine on a parched eardrum… like a triple encore performance where the crowd refuses to leave until you play “just one more”…
I’m so pumped up! It was that amazing. Ok, I’m ready to begin practice.
Oh, what, you thought I had just finished practice?? Nah, I haven’t even started yet. And, in all honestly, up until a few minutes ago I was feeling pretty sluggish and seriously thinking about skipping practice altogether (the horror!) Hence, the little pep talk I just gave myself. A rally call of sorts. You should try it sometime, it really works.
Here’s the secret though…
The reason that little battle cry works for me is because I’ve actually had those feelings before. There honestly have been times when I’ve felt so good about my practice session that it made a memorable impression on me. And I held on to that feeling. And now I use it to my advantage. Now I use it on those days when I need to give myself a little push; I use it on days when I’m trying to find the motivation to practice.
SO, on the days where you are looking for some motivation, the secret is to recall a moment in time where you felt amazing about practicing the guitar. Maybe, like me, there was a specific time when you practiced your heart out and you felt incredible afterwards. Or, maybe, it was the first time you picked up the guitar and fantasized about being up on stage in front of millions of screaming fans, and you couldn’t hold back that stupid ear-to-ear grin no matter how much you tried. Or, perhaps you are still searching for that moment and are committed to working at it until you get it. Whatever the case may be, this little exercise helps get you mentally prepared to practice.
I think psychologists call this Visualization, or something like that…
The point is, we all have those times when we’ve had a tough day. We’re tired. We’re depressed. We just zone out in front of the TV with a cold one and get lost in whatever reality blah blah blah is coming through the screen. We’d just about do anything except drag our sorry asses over to practice. But we need to snap out of that mindset… visualize how good you’ll feel after. I mean, simple right? It’s kind of like, if you’re sick you want to get better. If you’re depressed, you want to be happy. If you’re frustrated with a situation, you want to escape the stress or pain and seek out the pleasure. So push yourself to consider how you’ll feel after you’re done practicing.
Now, to truly be successful with this (measured, of course, by whether or not you get off your butt and actually start practicing), this needs to be an authentic feeling. I don’t subscribe to the fact that you can imagine how you might feel when you’re done. This isn’t backwards planning we’re talking about. This is simply trying to get your motivation flowing.
So you need to draw upon the experience you’ve had with a positive emotion. You need to dig deep and pull up those fantastic feelings of pure joy and elation that have only come from playing the guitar. Whether it was a former practice session, a live performance, a dream, or seizing hold of your prized possession and cranking it up to 11, find that feeling where anything and everything was possible. That moment of unfiltered happiness. That is your source.
I repeat, that is your source.
Trying to find motivation to practice? Go to your source. Pull it out. Block everything else around you… the tiredness, the lazy attitude, the aches the pains the blues the woos… block it all out. Rely on your source. That’s it.
So that’s my super easy method for finding the motivation to practice. Simple. Effective. Isn’t that great?
If you agree or have some other tips to share with our community, please share them in the comments below. Now let’s get to some practicing!