Passion is Something You Create.
“Passion” is very much like “inspiration”: it’s not something that just “comes to you” or “doesn’t” or “that you “have” and “then loose”.
Passion just like inspiration, is a muscle you train, it’s something you create.
I know you’ve heard those artists before who say in interviews that “inspiration needs to hit them”.
If that were true, that inspiration/passion is someting that comes and goes: then none of the great composers (Bach, Beethoven, Mozart etc.), who all constantly composed all their works on commission (for popes, dignitaries, emperors, kings, palaces, festivities, etc….), or none of today’s film scoring pros (Hans Zimmer, … ), who all constantly need to make all their film music deadlines, would ever reach any of their strict deadlines or finish any of their works they’re hired for.
MY most prolific writing period in my life, was when I constantly HAD TO write specific compositions and songs for all my class projects during my college years.
I never wrote more music than during my time at Berklee College of Music. Not only that: most of it was really good too. Interesting that I wasn’t dependent upon “inspiration hitting me” when I “had to” write to meet all my college assignment requirement.
If you decide right now that you will write some awesome piece of music: music IS going to come to you. It always does.
Comes to show: Inspiration & passion don’t just “come to you”. You create them, or at least, you open up to them, letting them flow in.
I know those are 2 different points of view.
Do you create it, or is it already there and you just open up to it?
The difference for the sake of the topic discussed here, doesn’t entirely matter because in either case: you have control over it.
The ideas and concepts of inspiration and passion, are not unlike being in love.
For example: my wife Tiannah and I sometimes wonder if we will ever fall out of love with each other. If that were to happen, we both would be totally fine with that.
Besides being “in love”, there’s still also the deep feeling of “love”.
I have never been in love for that long before. Going on 8 years non-stop now, it looks like that feeling for my wife is never going to fade. On the contrary: it keeps growing!
There is this idea oftentimes mentioned in psychology books dealing with the psychology of relationships, that your wife becomes more radiant, beautiful, happier, peaceful and stronger when you shower her with love, admiration and attention.
When she feels loved, appreciated, and honored: she turns into the woman of your dreams, your perfect match… in return making you fall deeper in love, and on and on the positive cycle goes.
This almost kind a sounds like: “You reap what you sow”.
While it seems and works like magic: it is grounded in the same universal principles manifesting themselves over and again, in this case the idea, that everything that manifests itself in your life, is the result of your thoughts and mental processes. In other words: you are the master and creator of your universe.
All that being said:
Feeling passionate about something, feeling inspired, taking lessons and practicing: are all like “being in love”: The moment you stop spending time on creating the magic, you just simply start losing the magic.
Would I still feel as deeply in love with my wife if I would give her much less love and attention??
Would I still love playing guitar as much if I hardly ever played anymore?
Would I stil write inspired songs, if I hardly ever wrote anything anymore.
All these questions, have exactly the same answer.
Sometimes people hit an obstacle or a plateau in a pursuit they were initially passionate about, and then just decide to give up or quit.
Indeed, you could transfer that magic (passion) over from that one thing you were intially passionate about, to another pursuit like cooking, or gardening, or traveling, etc… but somehow, that seems akin a bit to moving on from one woman/man/relationship to the next, instead of pursuing and building out deeper experiences and growth. The new thing might be fun the moment itself and enjoyable for a while, but one never experiences the same depth and growth than when one works through a challenge, sticks to it, and gets to the bottom of that 1 thing.
Or like the Zen mediation and Buddhist practitioners say:
“Through 1 thing know 10,000 things”
Morale of the story:
When you feel a little less passionate about something or a little less in love with something (or someone), or a little less inpsired: It’s easy to get back to how you felt before.
In a love relationship, it’s as simple as deciding to drop everything and just go spend some time having fun talks and moments with your partner.
That’s all it takes. It is THAT simple.
For writer, getting inspiration to come is as simple as picking up a pen and you just start writing, anything. No preconceived notions, no judging, no listening to the voice in your head or the stories you stell yourself about it all: just pick up a pen and start writing anything.
For songwriters, same thing: just start strumming chords and start singing anything that comes to you, any melody, without thinking. Before you know it you’ll hear really cool great melodies that will make you excited.
For guitarists, it’s as simple as just making the choice to get back to lessons, or pick up your guitar and start playing some songs that you like, and suddenly the passion automatically comes back as if it never left.
Or in conclusion, like I always always say: “The only people to ever lose passion for guitar are the ones who stop lessons or who don’t pick up their guitar regularly enough”
That is all there is too it.
I never met anyone who plays regularly, who ever completely lost passion or interest for guitar.
It’s just too much fun haha, but ONLY if you do it regularly.
For people who pick it up every once in a while for 5 minutes, learning and playing guitar just feels like work.
It’s a ton of fun, when you see good progress.
And just like how I feel about my wife and how our love keeps growing, people who spend more time with their guitar, feel the same way about guitar.
It becomes ever more interesting and fascinating, it becomes healthily addictive, it becomes something you can’t put down, it becomes something you want to know everything about.
Even I lose the drive and fire to play and practice every once in a while. This happens if I am slammed with guitar students and work for weeks in a row, without setting deliberate time aside to practice and learn new things.
People/students are always be most in love with guitar, when they meet regularly for lessons and practice the lesson materials regularly.
By the same token: people feel the most in love with and connected to their partner, when they spend regular time with that loved one.
The good news is that one can have it all: a happy wife/husband, a regular awesome day job, AND amazing passion for guitar.
However, again: it makes life all the deeper, and more profound in experiences and achievements, when one sticks to something and keeps at it, through the easy moments and through the plateaus, obstacles and challenges.
“Through 1 thing know 10,000 things”…
Mastery of guitar = mastery of self = mastery of life.
Or like Jocko Willink says: “Discipline Equals Freedom”.
Hit me up anytime at [email protected] if you have any questions, or if you would like to book a lesson.
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You’re on your way to becoming a great guitar player.
Have fun! 🙂