This low-cost solution took my guitar skills to the next level
A few years after I started playing the guitar, I decided that I wanted my bedroom (and myself) to look a bit cooler, and one of the easiest ways to do that was to take my guitar out of its bag and show it to everyone who visited. And so I bought a guitar stand.
What happened next? —
My current guitar and stand at HEC.
My room definitely looked cool.
But what also happened was that I noticed, over the next two years of high school, that my guitar playing improved a lot faster than it had before. I was playing faster, more smoothly, and able to play more complicated things than ever before.
What’s this got to do with growth?
I realised that the reason my guitar playing improved so much more, was that I was simply playing the guitar so much more.
With guitar just there on its stand, calling out to me, every single time I had a 10-minute break from studying, or I was just bored, I reached out to the guitar and played it, even if for 5 or 10 minutes.
Earlier, with the guitar in its bag, I was never tempted to play it as much as when it came outside. Also, it took some effort to take it out. “What good is it to spend effort taking it out just to play 5 minutes? It’s better I wait when I have a good 20 or 30 minutes to play it.” And we know that doesn’t happen.
I removed the friction. That’s what made all the difference.
Here’s what you can do —
Whatever it is you’re trying to do, identify the points of friction between you and doing that thing. Find levers that you can turn to make doing that thing really easy to do.
If you want to get better at playing the guitar, buy a guitar stand. If you want to run more, put your running shoes beside your bed. If you want to read more, get books _on your phone_ so that every time you have a 5-minute window or you’re in line at the grocery store, you can whip your phone out and read instead of browsing Instagram (this is another trick I use).
Remove the friction.
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