Deep practice requires energy, passion and commitment. So, how can we fuel our motivation, inspiration and creativity to continuously practice and perform on the edge of our abilities? How are motivation, enthusiasm and energy created and sustained?
Where is the frontier between passion and obsession? Where is the source of our desires? Self-Determination Theory will come in handy.
The first source of talent blooming is found in the breakthrough of one successful individual. That individual becomes an example, a role model, someone we can look up to and admire. It also breaks the frontier between what is impossible and what becomes achievable. “If he can do it, why can’t I?”
Outside stimuli to our progress matter. We respond to both inner and outer signals that can be moulded into our new stepping-stone. This awakening is what makes us define and grow our identity: “This is what I want to do; this is what I want to become.”
Passion, therefore, comes first from the outside, igniting our inspiration to perform and inflaming the deepest core of our inner beings.
Musical progression is a random variable that we can’t seem to understand. Why can we recognize fast learners that progress quickly amongst others that are slower in achievement?
Gary McPherson at the “Melbourne Conservatorium of Music”, the Australian “Victorian College of Arts” faculty sister, had studied the question and the answer has nothing to do with IQ, nor oral sensitivity, nor sensory motor skills, nor math skills, nor sense of rhythm, nor income level…
The one single factor that can determine a student’s rate of progress is the answer to a simple question: “How long do you think you will play your new instrument?”
The level of commitment a student is willing to take even BEFORE the beginning of his studies determines the faster or slower pace of his progress. The short-term commitment student will progress slower; the long-term commitment student will progress faster… even when both practice the same amount of time!
This is where Inspiration sets its relevance: long-term commitment to a skill combined with high levels of deep practice grows talent and mastery. And the perception of self is key to unveil future progress. The thought “I am a musician” brings certainty, coherence and focus. It builds a self-image as a performer.
Accordingly, inspiration and progress is not a result of aptitude, genes or innate skills. It’s a result of a powerful outward idea that ignites inwardly and empowers people with a clear image of an ideal future self. “I want to do that. I want to be like them.”
What about you, what does inspire you? What makes you act and move forward?
For more on the subject check “The Talent Code”, by Daniel Coyle