Why do so many fail?

Why do so many fail to reach their guitar playing goals?

Most people who pursue a worthy goal, such as mastering guitar, do so with only a vague idea of where they’re headed.   It may seem like enough to simply try to be like your favorite guitarists, or become determined to be “good enough” to play an impressive technique, but these alone won’t lead to success.

It’s difficult to avoid clichés when discussing this.  One way to think of this is to compare it to going on a long journey to a destination.   If you set out with only the goal of getting there, and the road is difficult and filled with distractions, it’s unlikely that you will arrive.  It’s not enough to simply know where you’re headed.  Knowing how to get there is obviously important, but some of that you can learn on the way.  The most critical factor to ensure that you actually reach your final destination is to know why you are going there.

Think about this.  You set out on that journey and find it to be extremely difficult at times.  Along the way, there are things you can enjoy that are easy by comparison.  You could stop at this or that destination along the way and not have to push forward anymore.  In fact, you’ll be tempted to stop rather frequently.  Maybe it’s just meant as giving yourself a “well deserved” rest for a few days.  But if you stop and lose your momentum, what is going to spur you forward again?  How can you be sure that you’ll continue?

The truth is, the vast majority of people who set out on that journey never actually arrive at their imagined destination.  The reason for this is simple, the motivation for getting there was not strong enough to justify the challenges along the way.  That’s it.  There really isn’t anything else to it.

The guitarist who successfully navigates through obstacles does so by having a compelling reason that is more important than being comfortable or having fun.  They have reasons that give them such intense excitement and motivation that they can’t help but give their all.  If they begin to falter, all they have to do is think about those reasons and their motivation reappears in full force.

For some, this might sound impossible.  Maybe you’ll think to yourself that you couldn’t possibly find a reason strong enough.  If you do think that, I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong.  It might take you some work and a good deal of introspection, but if you take the time to figure it out, you absolutely can find a reason that will push you forward harder than you ever imagined is possible.  Working towards something that you feel that strongly about is more rewarding than any entertainment or distraction will ever be.

Dan Mumm