It’s all about perspective.
A student was telling me the other day that she just simply procrastinates…and that’s why she doesn’t practice.
It’s never that simple. Why do we procrastinate? Why does she procrastinate?
Her conclusion was that she wants to just “hang with her friends” either in person or online, or “chill”. And...the closer that she gets to a deadline, the more she procrastinates.
To me, it said that she views practicing as something that “takes away” from things that she likes to do, or at least feels comfortable doing. I asked her about this, and she said that that was true!
The truth is though; practicing adds to our lives…it doesn’t take away anything.
How many of us view or approach our practice time as something that we have to sacrifice something else for? After all, we hear all the time that we have to be disciplined, make ourselves practice, do it whether we want to or not: which are all things that give tend to express “giving up” something instead of gaining something.
There is a sacrifice…but we forget the other part…which is the payoff.
Every time you practice – you add something beneficial to your life and your piano playing. (There is always a carry-over of what we learn in our piano playing into other areas of our lives, and this is one of the positives that we get from practicing).
If we start approaching our practice time with a feeling of receiving instead of giving, we’re going to be more encouraged to practice instead of just fogging on television or games or something else.
Focus on the good feeling you get from accomplishing something…even the smallest steps of progress still represent a gain instead of a loss.
A good and practical way to help keep track of the gains from your practicing each week is to make a list each day of the things that are easier to play, things that you can play faster than yesterday, rhythms that are easier to count, anything that is better should go on that list.
Then look at it at the end of each week and just think a bit on how much you’ve actually achieved because you did that practice time…no matter how small it was. (It’s more important to practice daily than just a couple of times each week, because you’ll accomplish more).
You may need to “practice” your new perspective for a few weeks before it sets in but by now, you know that you can accomplish that just like you are learning the piano. See how piano playing flows into the rest of your life? Apply this perspective to anything in your life that takes discipline to achieve and in turn it will help you feel this way about your practicing as well.
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