The 365 Commitment

Day – 4 Go Slow to Go Fast

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

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