HOW DO I GET TO CARNEGIE HALL?
Practice, practice, practice!
It’s a joke that’s older than my grandmother, but the point is timeless. In order to accomplish anything, learn something new, become “good” at a job– we must practice the skills required for that task. An oft-cited research study showed that it takes 10,000 hours of practice for a musician to be capable enough to play with a world-class orchestra. And the same is probably true for any other endeavor in life. Nobody gets to the top without lots of effort, hard work, perseverance, and practice.
NOTICE I DIDN’T SAY ‘PERFECTION’.
And yet so many of us get hung up on seeking perfection! “I tried that once and wasn’t any good at it, so why should I keep trying?” Did Julia Child learn to cook overnight? It took Edison several thousand attempts before creating a working light bulb. Has Microsoft ever released a glitch-free version of Windows? What’s notable about these people (and many countless others) is that they continue trying and honing their crafts. They don’t give up when their first (or second or tenth) attempt fails. They hold out hope that the next time they’ll get it right– the souffle won’t fall, the bulb will light, Windows won’t crash.
Other research has shown that the more frequently we try new things, the more capacity we have for learning new skills faster. So check out that yummy sounding recipe from your favorite cooking website. (If it bombs, you can always order pizza!) Sign up for the new exercise class at the gym. Try the seasonal coffee drink instead of your regular order. Even taking a different route home from work counts as something “new.” So lower your expectations for perfection, open yourself up to having a new experience, and give yourself credit for making the attempt. Think of it as the first step on your way to Carnegie Hall. And you might even find a new hobby or amazing dinner recipe along the way!
If you’re curious about how music therapy might help, contact me anytime. I’m always happy to answer questions! You can also check out my short video on breaking out of negativity here.