Acquiring new good habits is a lot like learning new things. Sometimes, probably most of the time, you have to go slow to go fast. Learning the guitar comes to mind.
When I occasionally get my guitar out and play, I play the same old stuff at about the same old skill level (crappy) as ever. And, when I do, I always complain about how I still suck at playing guitar. My wife will attest to this. Honestly, I have not improved my guitar playing in 19 years! It’s no wonder though. Nineteen years ago I got good enough write a little song to woo my then girlfriend with. It worked and she became my wife., mission accomplished! And, I stopped practicing consistently and correctly.
By correctly, I mean literally playing the notes slow enough so that I do not make a mistake. Then, maintaining that consistently over time to get faster without mistakes. The key is to never let myself play so fast that a mistake is made until the muscle memory is ingrained and I can play at the desired speed. I know that I would get better and gain the satisfaction of making beautiful music if I followed the protocol, but knowing and doing are very different things. But, I’m impatient and want to play at full speed . . . now! This proclivity, or let’s say bad habit, of avoiding consistency and to not building upon mastery is at the root of my failure to improve in this area. If I go too fast and allow mistakes, I will ingrain the mistakes! Not good.
I think this guitar analogy applies to the 365 Commitment. I am on Day 10 now of my 365 re-boot. Throughout 2018 I was pretty inconsistent. So far in 2019 I have managed to stick with a few foundational good habits. But, there are numerous good habits I want to acquire! Like Veruca Salt in the original Willy Wonka, “I want it NOW!” She also said she wanted a “bean feast.” I have no idea what a bean feast is. But, I do know why I still stink at guitar. I failed to go slow to go fast.
So, today I am determined and committed (key word) to learn from my past and put in the effort to change and grow. Therefore, I am going to work consistently and correctly on my few good habits until I feel solid in them. Then and only then will I allow myself to add more. Maybe after a while I’ll have acquired enough self-discipline to learn to play the rest of “Over the Hills and Far Away” on guitar.
Ben Wagner (10)
365 Commitment Member