The Art of Self Distraction

railroad-tracks-1070609-mI have come to realize that I am a master at the art of self distraction.  Over time I have become very good at derailing myself from accomplishing my goals.  It’s become a common scenario, I start something, a new practice routine, a new technique, ear training, etc.  State clear goals and have good intentions, then somewhere down the line, for various reasons, I convince myself to change course.  Case in point, I have recently been feeling that I am in one of those growth periods when it comes to learning music and playing bass.  Theory concepts are really starting to make sense to me, my playing has improved, and my bass is really starting to feel like a part of me, an extension of myself if you will.  Obviously this is great!  All my time in the shed is finally starting to pay off.  So, what do I do?  Ride the wave as far as I can?  No, I convince myself that now is the time to make the switch to 5 string.

Inherently there is nothing wrong with this course of action.  I am finally understanding how the low B string can be useful, and keeping myself challenged is what it’s all about, right? Besides, a few of the songs I play with my band really do lend themselves better to the 5. All good right?  No problem here.  Wrong!  What about the strides I made on my 4 string? Am I really ready to move on to the 5?  Have I truly achieved the goals I set for myself and am ready to move on?  When I take an honest look at it, I have to say no, I haven’t.  I’ve really only taken it so far. Reached a plateau and took another course.  I need to reevaluate, make a course correction and finish what I started before moving on to something new.  Sure, getting comfortable with the 5 string is important and I want to start playing it more, but maybe not just yet.  At least not as a complete redirection, maybe I can add it in slowly to my current regimen, working it in as I work out the 4.

A large part of the learning experience for me is keeping myself on track.  Writing down my goals and following through on them.  This seems so simple, yet for me it is a constant battle.  As that there is still so much that I want to learn, in music as well as other aspects of my life, being a master at the art of self distraction can really be a hindrance.  Guess it’s time to review my goals and get back on track, if I don’t get distracted.  ;-) 

How about you?  What creative things do you come up with that hinder your learning progress? Leave a comment or drop me a note, I’d love to hear that I’m not alone in this.  


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