Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Way to Mastery

The week before summer vacation, my guitar teacher requested his students to practice playing guitar three hours daily during the vacation. They should do it in three different time of the day with one hour each time to improve the efficiency.

“Three hours a day? That is impossible”, complained one student.

“I already have difficulties to practice one hour per day now”, said the other.

My guitar teacher smiled and asked: “Do you know how long I practice when I started guitar lessons at age of four?”

He paused and waited for the reaction of his students. They were quiet and curious to learn what their teacher has to say.

“Four hours a day, at age of four.” He emphasized his age.

The students who complained felt ashamed, but were still reluctant to commit the three hours.

The teacher continued: “Four hours a day is just for the beginning. After some experiences my practicing time increased to eight hours a day.”

“Waw.” The students opened the mouths and eyes wildly.

“After some more experiences I increased my practicing time to twelve hours a day.”

By that time I realize how my guitar teacher can work 16 hours with a regular job at the government institute and a full time guitar teaching job.

The room was filled with silence. No one was able to make any tone. The teacher went on: “I know you all want to play the instrument well. You want to make a difference in your life. And you want to have fun playing it. However, any remarkable achievement is tightly linked with efforts and persistence, some times with pain and suffering. This is the way of mastery, maybe the only way.”

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