When I was taking drum lessons, one of the things I loved was finding out what it took to learn things that were new to me. Loved, and simultaneously hated. When I was learning a new song or beat, there would be parts I got stuck on and struggled with. So, to conquer those notes, my drum teacher had me isolate the trouble areas and play them over and over. And over.
Playing those parts repeatedly was frustrating and I just wanted to move on. I just wanted to be able to play already and the repetition was boring. But beyond learning those pieces of music, I also learned that repetition was what it took to be able to master the entire song. Sometimes I was doing things as simple as playing just one tap on the snare drum. But I had to get that one note correct, with the right volume, sound, timing, etc. to build on it. I had to take on each phrase to make a solid song, and it took focus.
There are times now, in both work and personal life, that I think back to those times I would play the same parts until I was sick of them. Whether it’s comfortably giving presentations, calling tough customers, waking up early, or working out, all areas of life grow when focus is applied. Sometimes it’s little things that seem menial, but are necessary. Sometimes it’s doing things I don’t want to do, even when I rationally understand they’re important. Sometimes it’s kicking myself into gear and kicking out the distractions so I can get through the work and build upon it. Whatever the obstacle or goal, focus moves me through it. The focus on taking on the task at hand as well as the prize in the future has brought success whenever I’ve applied it.
Here’s to honing in on what you want in your life, focusing, and excelling.
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