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Thought for the Day -- Aug 17

Peter T. 17 Aug 08 - 06:29 AM
lady penelope 17 Aug 08 - 11:40 AM
Peace 17 Aug 08 - 11:59 AM
John Hardly 17 Aug 08 - 12:21 PM
John Hardly 17 Aug 08 - 12:22 PM
Tinker 17 Aug 08 - 12:27 PM
Jeri 17 Aug 08 - 12:29 PM
katlaughing 17 Aug 08 - 01:22 PM
Peter T. 17 Aug 08 - 01:53 PM
Highlandman 17 Aug 08 - 05:41 PM
Amos 17 Aug 08 - 06:28 PM
Bill D 17 Aug 08 - 08:17 PM
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Subject: Thought for the Day -- Aug 17
From: Peter T.
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 06:29 AM

A friend who has as much difficulty actually getting down to practicing the piano as I do has what she calls the "10 minute" theory. The theory attempts to explain the stubborn avoidance of practicing in the face of what often happens when you finally sit down at the piano -- or pick up the guitar, get the paints out, put the sneakers on, whatever -- which is that you suddenly go: "I had forgotten how great this was, why do I keep forgetting how much fun this is, how much I enjoy it!" You would think that the actual pleasure of getting started would be enough motivation to keep you coming back. My friend's theory is that your psyche is actually smarter than that. Your psyche knows that, somewhere round about 10 minutes into re-starting whatever it is you have been avoiding, all the demons rise up again from the depths and begin their shrieking and gibbering, and you re-discover all the reasons why you have been not practicing:-- you're no good, it is hard, it will take years, that finger still doesn't respond fast enough, what's on TV? Your psyche looks at the potential bliss of the initial thrill of finally getting started, and with its usual cold analytical fear, says, that's nothing, just wait.

Anyway, this is my friend's theory. For her. My own pet theory is that thinking up theories and explanations for why one is not at the piano is one more excellent way of avoiding just sitting down at the damn thing and getting to work.


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day -- Aug 17
From: lady penelope
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 11:40 AM

LOL! This is all far too familiar! Need to stop thinking about why I 'don't' and simply get on and 'do'... *G*


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day -- Aug 17
From: Peace
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 11:59 AM

Even when I don't want to, I do sit with the guitar and play. Gets the process going. I'm gonna do that is 10 minutes.


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day -- Aug 17
From: John Hardly
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 12:21 PM

Someone once told me that practice is the musician's ultimate act of faith. There is no promise -- only possibility (or, optimistically, probability) -- that one will improve with practice.

For that reason I've always concluded that practice itself must contain some element of play -- some immediate gratification to offset the inevitable dissappointment with progress.

We'd all love to think that we could exist "in the moment" and that our dreams of granduer wouldn't get in the way of enjoying each step along the way. Truth is, though, without those dreams we'd never take the first step.

I think, instead, it's wiser to learn the distinctions between "wishes" and "hopes" or "ambitions".    Wishes get us nowhere. They are childish, not childlike. They are a vapor. Hopes and ambitions will lead us to set goals. They might even lead us to learn where the reasonable point of expectation of attainment is, and how we might best balance that ambition with contentment.

I've tried to start a lot fewer of the sentences of my life with "I wish" and start more of those sentences with reasonable "I will"s.


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day -- Aug 17
From: John Hardly
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 12:22 PM

(oh, and sorry for stepping on a Thought for the Day. It just struck a familiar, practiced chord with me)

...back to your regularly scheduled mudcat programming....


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day -- Aug 17
From: Tinker
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 12:27 PM

Thank you John, I suddenly realized that it was I started to believe I should improve with practice and then of course believe I wasn't improving enough that suddenly the guitar became work I wasn't "good enough" at.... But lately I've been playing with the kids at church and it's just fun again... not practice just play time.


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day -- Aug 17
From: Jeri
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 12:29 PM

The silliest thing for me is that I put off playing because I'll enjoy it too much. I'll either get lost in it or I want to save it for some 'special' moment that never comes. I also don't have any real goal--I have a starting place but no destination.


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day -- Aug 17
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 01:22 PM

Peter, I disagree with your friend about the 10 minute thing, that's just about when I ask myself why I haven't done it more and continue on! It IS getting over the hump of actually get it out to play (the fiddle or dulcimer) that gets me. That, and having no one to play with...maybe I'll get brave and put an ad in the paper sometime soon and try to get a session going.


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day -- Aug 17
From: Peter T.
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 01:53 PM

Stepping out from "A Thought of the Day" is part of the fun of it, and adding your own thoughts.

I think in my case, that in spite of what I think, I can only do one thing that requires a long-term arc of concentration at once.   Mostly that is, alas, work-related. I seem to be unable to do "just a half an hour a day", which is what every one of those books suggest. Don't know why, that is just how I is.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day -- Aug 17
From: Highlandman
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 05:41 PM

Like Kat said, it's the initial hurdle for me, too. The fears and demons (whether its practicing, writing, or whatever the thing is I'm avoiding) generally stay gone once I get started.
The best thing I ever did for my guitar playing was to buy a wall hanger and keep the thing on the wall in my bedroom instead of in its case downstairs. I play it for a few minutes more frequently PLUS I get in more frequent focused practice too. More frequent dusting is a small price to pay.
-Glenn


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day -- Aug 17
From: Amos
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 06:28 PM

I have exactly the same loop when I drift away from writing, and finally drag my ass back into the chair.


A


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day -- Aug 17
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 08:17 PM

The thing *I* need to do regularly (working in my shop) will almost always make me tired, achey & dirty/dusty.

It's a creative, rewarding activity that can be quite unpleasant to actually do, and requires almost a 'submission' before I start. It is a very interesting process. The longer I take between sessions, the harder it is to face again.

I'd be interested to know how others process similar tasks.


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