During my time in college I had the great opportunity to tutor students in Logic, a class that I had previously taken and performed pretty well at. I enjoyed the study and enjoyed helping others to understand it and by doing so learned many lessons about not only logic but also the nature of learning itself.
One of the best lessons came to me not when I was in class and not when I was tutoring. Surprisingly, it came during my Discus practice.
Give yourself 5 days to learn how to play a song on a guitar. You are allowed to take the full amount of time off work so you have as much time as possible to prepare. At the end of the fifth day you have to play the song in front of a crowd.
A big crowd.
There will no doubt be a lot of pressure on you to not only succeed in playing the song, but actually play it well enough for people to be impressed. How would you start? How would you plan out those 5 days? Who would you contact to help coach you to short-term success? Do you think you could do it?
More importantly, would this experience help or hinder your further growth as a guitar player?
I fancy myself as being an okay artist. I love to sketch and have begun to dabble in some graphic design as well, having recently made a t-shirt inspired by a very rambunctious dog.
Creating artwork is both a very relaxing and very stressful activity for me. I don’t do it as often as I should, but when I do, I try to make the work something special.
Recently I have begun to notice similar trends between how my sketching process plays out compared to other projects I get involved in. In fact, the similarity is so much so that it’s kind of scary. There exist parallels between projects of different kinds, and by understanding my own sketches I’ve come to see how I handle most projects.
Here are some of those similarities.
Stand up and take a walk from one side of the room to the other. Now, do it again, but this time focus on the technique of your walking. How your hip flexors slightly lift your leg off the ground. How your back foot pushed off the toe and the front comes down on its heel.
More than likely your second trip will be more awkward than the first. It can be difficult to think about an activity while your performing it, and many activities are so ingrained that we don’t need to think about it unless something impedes our normal technique.
This state of action without thinking is a prized possession because of the way it allows our mind to flow freely, and according to many eastern philosophies is the goal of meditation.
Getting there, however, takes the very thing we wish to cease doing, thinking.