My 13 year old daughter, who has been taking piano lessons for about 10 years, started teaching me to play the piano a couple of months ago.
It’s been a really fun experience on so many levels, and I’m finally learning to play the piano. I figure in 13 years, when I’m 50, I can play as good as her (she is amazing on the piano). I’m patient, and I can see myself working hard over the next 13 years, so I can get that good.
But it is freaking HARD.
Sometimes, when she teaches me a new song, I feel like my head is literally going to pop (sorry for the visual :p).
Learning how to make my fingers do what they need to do, and understanding the musical stuff, and then watching my fingers NOT do the same things that her fingers do, and wondering if I’ll ever get it, is so very hard.
Mary Had A Little Lamb and London Bridges have never been so painful!!!
But then, after practicing, something happens.
It grows easier.
And I start to “get” the hard parts.
What was once head-popping impossible becomes doable, and then fairly easy, and then comfortable.
My fingers don’t even hurt anymore. When I first started they hurt all the time, and I wondered if all pianists walked around with hurting fingers.
One of my immediate goals was to play with both hands. Piano seems not-so-cool if you just play with one hand. I really wanted to do two hands. And I’m finally here. I’m just polishing my second two-hand song, before I get to do the next one. It’s a delight to be here. It’s still hard, but I know that each time I practice, I get closer to passing off the song I’m on, and going to something that gets me closer to my goal for when I’m 50.
When I think about the head-popping hardness of what I’m doing, I think about job seekers. They start new stuff, and it is hard, and it hurts, and they want to stop, because it might be insurmountable.
But then I think about the guys and gals who just go to that networking event, and open their mouth, and shake hands with people, even though it is so very uncomfortable.
The first time it is so hard.
Bodies, minds and hands weren’t meant for that! Especially for introverts!
But they do it again next week. And it is still so very painful. But maybe a tiny, tiny bit less painful.
And then something amazing happens. A few weeks into it, it isn’t painful. And the smiles are genuine, not forced. You can see a transformation.
It is because this is HARD WORK. And PRACTICE makes the hard work easier, and more enjoyable. Practice makes it less painful.
I know you are thinking about skipping this week. Because you have “more important” things to do.
Realize that every time you go, every time you introduce yourself, you are getting better at it. The uncomfortable goes away, and it becomes more natural.
And them remember that these skills will only help you in your next job, or next endeavor, and you gotta learn them sometime, somewhere, somehow.
Maybe, right now is the right time, no matter how old you are, or how experienced you are, or you cool you have been in the past.
Thom Singer had a great line in yesterday’s post titled Getting The Word Out… he said:
Everyday you need to wake up and do the hard work to get the word out about why your business is spectacular.
What can you do every day to get the word out about you?