What does it take to inspire you? Maybe all it takes is seeing some kid walking to school carrying an instrument case and you find yourself wishing that instrument was in your hands. Or maybe you’re a parent and you wish it was in your child’s hands. If it’s always been your dream (or your child’s dream) to play a musical instrument, the only way to realize those ambitions is to take action.
What are you waiting for?
I can say without hesitation that taking up the guitar as a kid was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. (I’ve written about it here on the blog.) Not only has it bought me a lifetime of joy, but unbeknownst to me when I started, it has turned into a full-time career. But in order to follow my dream and play guitar, I had to take action first.
It didn’t end there, either. As my composing career progressed, I realized that I needed (and wanted) to also learn to play keyboards in order to improve my musicality. Once again, I took action by finding a suitable teacher, and I’m happy to report that I’ve developed a fair degree of proficiency. Sure, it’s taken time, patience and practice, but like the guitar, playing keyboards has bought me countless hours of pleasure. Of course, as with guitar, I’m still learning and discovering. That alone brings me a sense of accomplishment — something I experience every time I master a new chord progression or lick.
Whenever I’m looking for a new source of musical inspiration, I will go out and buy myself something new for my studio. It can be as big as a guitar or as small as a shaker or tambourine. What I’ve found when I acquire a new guitar, for example, is that I play differently on it, which in turn spurs my mind to create new sounds. Not only do I find it fun to research different instruments and then try them before I buy, but once each new instrument is in my hands, I’m as excited as I was when I got my first guitar! The point is, in order to get that rush of inspiration, it requires a degree of effort on my part.
Earlier this year, I tried out an electric cello (something I’ve also written about here), and I’m hoping to buy one soon. I’ve already been online watching videos and researching which model would be best for me. Even though I don’t know how to play cello, it’s something I know I’ll enjoy and, who knows, maybe I’ll get good at it!
Of course, taking action sometimes involves a bit of uncertainty or risk. In an Entrepreneur magazine article entitled “The Best Time to Take Action Is Now,” author Jeremy Ellens notes, “Often times, there is so much to do, and we have so many great ideas, that we struggle to take massive action on any of them. Maybe we think that we can’t move forward with something without it being absolutely perfect.” The moral of the story is this: Don’t fear imperfection; even baby steps in a positive direction are a good thing. With that in mind, why not take a chance and treat yourself to what you’ve always wanted?
Maybe taking this action is not for yourself. How about getting your kids to take up music and learn to play an instrument? The benefits of playing an instrument and learning how to play music have been proven in countless ways, from increased focus and mathematical brainpower to the simple joy of playing and interacting with others. And if you don’t want to be the one to do it, hearing your kids play for you might be just as good … maybe even better!
Lewis Carroll, author of Alice In Wonderland, once said, “In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.” Why regret what you didn’t do? Just think of all the fun you’ll have with that musical instrument you’ve always dreamed of playing, and how much it will enrich your life, as well as the lives of your family and friends. Yes, summer is over and the cool weather is upon us, but that doesn’t mean you can’t heat things up by taking positive action. Make this your time to shine!