Make life like a video game.
Life may not be a video game, but it doesn’t mean we can’t learn from them whether it be PokémonGo or Legend of Zelda. Watching people that are obsessed, it begs the question, what gives them the drive to keep going after hours and hours of nonstop playing? Catching new Pokémon, achievements and fancy armor that are all but fantasy. The frustration one has when they can’t find that switch to open the right door, or to catch that Pikachu is more than enough to keep them playing for hours and hours on end. But when they succeed the feeling of euphoria is what pumps them up for another walk. They can finally advance, and enough experience has been procured to gain a level. Off to win some at the gym! In other games like Skyrim or Fable, special attention is given to training each of the different skills of a character and in turn, the skills altogether comprise our essence. In real life Sometimes a performance, competition, or masterclass is that darn switch to open that door we’ve been looking for!
A polyglot from Ohio named Moses McCormick speaks languages literally from every corner of the globe like Hmong, Somali etc. and how he levels up is by going to public spaces and having conversations with people! The look on their faces when they see a random black man speaking Cambodian is priceless:
Lessons from my own Classes:
I’m currently at a guitar festival in Spain and had the opportunity to have two classes with renowned CEOs of the guitar world and audit many others. On Monday, Carlo Marchione (pictured on top) an Italian guitarist emphasized the fact that one needs to really understand and know what a composer wrote. My personal habit is to memorize, and then just practice everything from memory referring to the musical score only when I forget something. The truth is, that means I’m not appreciating the composer’s instructions or intentions for the piece. The tendency then for someone is to make up your own rhythms and just freely play the music to your liking. It’s not wrong, but the lesson is there is a difference between interpreting a piece and composing a whole new one. One of my carnal musical sins…
I also tend to be an in the box thinker, but Margarita Escarpa a Spanish guitarist opened my eyes to the fact that it’s not only your fingers that play the instrument. You can use your whole body. That might seem obvious, but we get so obsessed with how our fingers are moving we forget that we can coordinate bodily movements to our advantage. She told me at one point to either lift my leg or tilt my body forward for a particular section that I was having trouble hitting 100% of the time. The underlying truth is my body is also an instrument. Lo and behold, problem solved.
Even if you don’t perform, simply auditing is just as powerful. Some people argue that it’s more beneficial to sit and absorb all the information. I find even if your teacher tells you something all the time when you hear the same thing from someone different you might pay more attention because the way they phrase it hits you in a different way, words have power. Seek out opportunities to hang with CEOs; they don’t bite. Throughout my undergrad I’ve personally performed in classes with nearly a dozen of these CEOs and listened to dozens more, even those of other instruments! Sometimes the invited guest isn’t famous, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t worth your time. You will be surprised. Wisdom comes from many sources. Take every opportunity you have to learn and put yourself in the spotlight a bit more. Ignore fear. The worse that can happen is…