Friday, October 28, 2005

Benefits of Working Hard

I've been spending considerable time lately in front of the Casio Privia piano that I bought during last month's self-improvement spending spree. I have a book on Jazz that I've been learning from, and I wanted to comment on how difficult it has been to learn the new style (II-V-I) of chords and inverted chords from scratch.

I've been playing blues and the New Orleans style of piano by ear since I was inspired in high school by a close friend of mine who up to and including today is by far the best piano player I have ever seen. However, my playing was purely by ear. This new style is literally, by the book. I have never seen something so difficult.

I find that I'll walk away from the piano with a headache, but when I return to the piano some time (hours / days) later, my mind is clear and I unconsciously learned the material that was previously frustrating to me. I must also comment that this sometimes takes many tries before it happens, but when it does, the feeling of accomplishment is very empowering. What I do with that newfound power is I channel it into the next level of learning which causes the frustration response all over again, albeit now at a higher level with more complex playing.

I wonder whether in a few months or years I will look back and say, "wow, I did it." I am starting to experience that now [that I am studying for the Bar Exam] with regard to the years of hard work to get through law school. I suppose this feeling is common for me when I accomplish something that I worked really hard on. Another area that I've felt this is with regard to my religious pursuits and in my Torah learning.

I once decided to every day go to sleep knowing more and being a better person than I was when I woke up that morning. Anthony Robbins calls this model of living "C.A.N.I." which stands for constant and neverending improvement. I believe this is the goal of life. The trick is to channel it into a skill set or set of knowledge that will reap both spiritual and physical rewards, and not merely momentary pleasures. Of course I am still thinking about last night where I faced a challenge and somehow succeeded in pulling myself away from a temptation that I didn't think that I had the strength to overcome.

I still see myself as weak in this area, but as of last night, something inside me changed and I made some kind of resolve, although I am not yet sure what it is.


Rowan said...

find that I walk away from the piano with a headache, but when I return to the piano some time (hours / days) later, my mind is clear and unconsciously I learned the material that was previously frustrating to me. sounds very familiar. Music lessons growing up, 5 years...oh the headaches, but yeah, when it hits, it hits and there is no greater sense of calm is there? I miss it sometimes.

Oh, and you'll know the resolve you made last night, when you know it. Just like you've described with piano.

Zoe Strickman said...

Heh, thanks for the comment. I was still editing the post when I saw someone (you) already commented. It threw me off for a second. It's like the feeling that you're being watched. By the way, I'm worried about the grammar in the post; I think there are some issues. Speaking of "watched", I'm looking again for a watch. The watches I bought a few weeks ago (Casio) were made from cheap plastic quality. I could never wear these at a law firm interview. I'm thinking of this time just spending the few dollars to get that Timex watch that was in the blog post from a few weeks ago. Keep it simple. :)

Chris Lautischer said...

Anthony Robbins tapes (I recently bought the entire personal power I set for 14.99 Can) have definately been helping me build my business!