Follow the Ten Year Rule and become the musician you want to be

A seed planted today will bear fruit for many years to come…

There is an old expression that says if you want to grow a tree tomorrow, the best time to plant a seed was yesterday. The second best time is to plant a seed today.

It takes time to grow a tree, just as it takes time to learn a new skill.  Learning to play guitar does not happen overnight, and even brilliant young virtuosos did not play at a master level the first time they picked up an instrument.  It takes time, and patience, and practice, and focus.  This may sound obvious, but it is critical to understand and appreciate how this progress works… just as it important to remind ourselves that even a large tree started as a tiny seed.

You are here because you have a desire, a goal, a dream to play the guitar.  And by now you may realize that if you want to play at a proficient level tomorrow, then the best time to start practicing was yesterday… the second best time is now.

To apply this philosophy in very real-life terms, I follow a very simple strategy called the “Ten Year Rule.”

The Ten Year Rule couldn’t be simpler.  Just think about everything you’re doing in your life right now… the job you have, the place you live, the people you hang out with, the hobbies you pursue. Then think about your life in ten years from now.  Is there anything you wish to be different in those ten years?  If so, then guess what, NOW is the time to plant the seeds of change!

The Ten Year Rule is how I have been able to focus on what I really want in life.  It is what has driven me to pick up the guitar again at age 35 and dedicate myself to learn how to play at a professional level.  It is the reason I started this blog and the reason I want to see a community of grown-up guitarists come together.

Most adult guitarists I know, including those who are pretty darn good at rocking the axe, always say to me that they wish they could’ve started playing at an age younger than when they did.

“Oh yeah, if only I started playing ten years ago…”

I understand where they’re coming from; I’ve said the same thing before.  But I don’t worry for a second about that anymore.  I don’t care because I’ve planted my seed now.  I thought long and hard about my life and applied the ten year rule over and over, and from that I declared from the metaphorical rooftops that in a decade from now I wanted to be an expert guitarist.

It will take effort.  It will take patience.  It will take tenacity.  But I have a seed in the ground. I know where I want to be in ten years.

Do you?

I urge you to plant your seed.  Time is going to pass by no matter what you do or what you don’t do.  Start today.  Become the musician you’ve always dreamed of becoming.  I don’t care how old you are now, or what other obstacles you may think are holding you back.  Ten years are going to pass by no matter what you do or don’t do!  Ten years will go by and you don’t want to be standing around wondering why you never got started.

Today is the day to plant your seed and rock your way in to the future.


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