Discipline is not the enemy of enthusiasm…
Yes, it is so truth. It is obvious to become better we need to practice, whatever it might be in our lives. Here of course we are talking about piano practising but in reality it applies to everything. I don’t know like you, but whatever I do even though I love the thing I am doing there is time needed to be spend to master the skill before we can enjoy doing it. Some activities are more complex and require more of our attention and have so many levels to master them like playing piano for example. Some are quite simple and there is not so much time needed to enjoy doing them on proper level. The fact is that before we will satisfy our needs there must be job to do. That requires discipline. Why I think discipline is so important? Well, with proper focus and discipline we simply will master some part of the skill we require faster, therefore we can enjoy it faster, therefore we can rise our motivation and be enthusiastic about it. With proper approach and mind set we can go through that process with joy even though the activity itself is not giving us much fun. For example my scales practice every morning. Is it fun? Hell no. But with thought in my mind that this will increase my ability of understanding piano, notes, sounds will stretch end exercise my fingers, will help put both hands together to play keeps me motivated doing so. Once it is routine, it is like warm up before sport event athletes do. Before training or competition they need to warm up to protect themselves from injuries. Then they perform. When they win… well you can see many times that joy child has when one gets something one wanted. That is the reward. Worth to practice to get, worth to put proper attention to get, worth to spend hours practising to experience. It is so crucial to stay happy from even small victories. Happy from learning even something fairly easy. At that time I reward myself with actually conscious happiness. I am not letting this moment just go unnoticed. Saying kind words to yourself helps a lot, being proud that something has been accomplished. That is all enthusiasm that discipline requires to keep us going. Because without discipline we go much slower. And when we go slower we meet those moments that keeps our enthusiasm high are happening less. So, as you can see more we discipline ourselves more we stay in the area of moments that keep us motivated.
So, basically one of the most important things is to stay enthusiastic even with hard tasks to do. Finding something to be happy about them helps. Even small things. It helps.
That is why piano journey gives me so much fun, gives me moments of joy and happiness. Those small moments of victory that I am better then yesterday, not always visible easily but they are there. We need to tune ourselves only to see them. That gives lots of joy. Keeps us away from other problems we might have in our lives. Gives us moments of relaxation from whats happening around us. No matter how good you are at the piano, those moments I believe are the moments that connect us with our souls. We might as well learn something about ourselves. I do…
So, discipline and enthusiasm. Let them be together. Don’t separate them. Make them friends to each other and enjoy the moments when the results of them working together come into your attention. Cherish them and most important of all… always have FUN doing what you doing.
So, with enthusiasm I create my plan for today, partly done already but here it is:
30 min session with scales practising (already done actually 🙂 with my app PianoMarvel)
60 min session with new material practising, that is midday session usually for me.
30 min the most fun part, playing what I know already and trying to improvise a little bit (not good at all at this improvising, but it is a lot of FUN though)
What is your practice plan for today? Do you have one in place?
Just a thought at the end about plan creation… it helps you to go further, it must be in writing – in some ways it is more likely to be done, it doesn’t have to be a lot, but what is most important I believe it should be done every day.
Take care and have great practice full of enjoyment.