Living A More Effortless Life.
It has been said that everything in life is mental.
Your thoughts for example, affect your energy levels and your decision making (choices), which in turn affect the level of your success. If your thoughts are predominantly negative, you will feel more tired or burned out.
Becoming successful at anything requires the energy to make it happen.
Following that reasoning: you’re more likely to become very successful if you’re positive.
With that in mind, you probably want to choose your thoughts wisely.
Filter out any thoughts that are disempowering or that bring down your energy levels.
Yes isn’t that amazing? You can choose which thoughts you want to think, and let go of the ones that are not helping you.
You can do the same with your beliefs.
As a result; things are as hard or as easy, as tough or as effortless, as interesting or as boring, as exciting or as dull as you make them.
You just got to pick one or the other, focus on whatever it is you chose only, and reap the outcome.
I always felt this is really good news!
Everything is simply a choice and an accompanying decision, and you always have the final say.
You can choose to be happy. You can choose for your life to be miserable… or not. You can choose success. You can choose to find ways to become wealthy.
You can choose to ignore the little voice in your head that is telling you you’re not good enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, rich enough, tall enough, fast enough, loved enough or special enough.
If you believe that to be true, then it is so.
Aiding The Law Of Attraction.
Taking this idea a step further: your physical reality and the unfolding of your life then are the result of your thoughts, your beliefs, your habits and the choices you make.
This is also the underlying principle behind the idea of “The Law of Attraction”: the Universe will bring you what you think about and what you focus on.
All these principles and ideas have been around for ever.
I’ve first read about these principles when I was a teenager.
My mom gave me this amazing book “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” by Joseph Murphy.
Ever since then, I’ve seen countless self-help, spiritual and motivational programs come and go, from “The Secret” to “What The Bleep Do We Know”, merely rehashing the content of the book I read as a kid, from different angles.
Apart from choosing to be in control of your thoughts and questioning all your beliefs, there are 2 mental techniques that will help you become more successful more effortlessly. “The Power of The Subconscious Mind” taught me these 2 techniques, which I believe have brought me tremendous benefits: Visualization and auto suggestion.
“Visualization”, which is a technique that psychologists use in their sessions with clients, consists of you rendering a vivid mental picture of something you project in the future.
For example: you want to buy your dream house, but you can’t afford it yet.
You visualize every detail of the house in your mind’s eye. In your imagination, you’re walking around in the house as if you’re already owning it.
The idea then is that, if you do this regularly enough, that the “Universe” is going to make it happen for you.
The needed money will somehow fall in your lap or an even better house or opportunity will present itself.
All resources that talk about this concept, all advocate that merely visualizing is not enough.
You also have to generate a great feeling of joy and thankfulness.
Visualize yourself feeling incredibly happy and thankful while imagining the house you always wanted, as if you’re happy already because you’re convinced this house will come to you somehow.
Supposedly: this speeds up the process and makes it more likely that your dream will realize.
While I don’t want to go all “spiritual mumbo jumbo” on you, there seem to be tons of instances in my life where I have seen this really work.
I am saying “this”, because I’m not sure how to call it: this “force”, this “phenomenon”, this “concept”, the “Universe”?
Maybe this is one of these instances, where one really would like to believe in something, and then tries to find reasons to justify it.
One way of looking at it, is that our mind is just a gateway that allows us to open doors to a connected network of consciousness where we can find all the answers and all the solutions to fulfill all our desires, needs, wishes and dreams.
Either way, whether you believe in “the Universe” or in the power of visualization or not: there are advantages to experimenting with visualization.
Let’s say that you have this musical audition for a top level, world famous band, who you possible could get into as a guitarist.
You’ve always been crazy about this band, you’re a huge fan, you have all their records, and you’re auditioning to become their guitarist next week.
There’s all the amazing perks that come with this: living the rockstar life, earning tons of money, touring the world, playing in front of huge audiences, doing music full time, being adored by thousands of fans, building your legacy, all you can dream off.
You could practice and study like your life depends on it, leaving nothing to chance.
However on a deeper emotional level, all the practice of the world is not going to minimize your fears or doubts as much as visualization will.
Picture yourself now at that audition.
Imagine how you arrive at the audition with a deep feeling of joy and gratitude because you get to jam with the musicians of your favorite band.
Imagine how they are just people too, with their weaknesses, doubts, and problems just like you.
Visualize how you’re totally nailing it on stage in the jam. You’re feeling relaxed and confident. You feel like you’re playing with your very best friends.
You come across as someone who is chill, relaxed, fun and confident.
You’re performing at the top of your game because none of your energy or brain power is wasted in ego or doubts.
You’re visualizing all this happening, you’re really feeling it all.
It feels like the real thing because you put all your imagination into the visualization.
You do this consistently every day, up till the day of the audition.
What happens then is that, when the audition time comes, you feel a sense of familiarity and comfort.
You experienced this particular situation numerous times before in past days leading up to the audition (the visualizations).
You feel like you practically can’t fail anymore.
This tremendously raises your chances of getting the gig, and more than likely: you will be the chosen one.
Of course: we’re not putting down the value of practicing.
It’s important that you get the music down. You need to put in the work.
However: you’re working smart instead of working hard.
You’re getting more and better results with much less effort or stress.
The visualizations probably played more of a deciding factor in you getting the gig, than the time you practiced in preparation for getting that gig.
When you look at it that way, suddenly it is not so “spiritual mumbo jumbo” anymore, right?
Question of course is: is this the Universe at work or is this simple me efficiently using my knowledge of mental processes to gain a higher degree of control over the outcome of my goals?
I think the ladder, but I have to admit to also having witnessed great “coincidences” that couldn’t really be explained by math’s probability theory or other logically apparent explanations. I’m referring to things that happened outside of my control, or that literally just fell into my lap out of nowhere.
For these events, I like to believe that maybe there
More importantly, coming back to “visualization”, think of all the ways this can help you as a musician.
- Attract a guitar teacher who is a better match for you.
- Get into the music school of your dreams: no matter how unlikely it might seem that you could possibly ever get in
- Realize the custom made guitar of your dreams
- Find a way to find all the money to pay for your education at Berklee or at any music school of your dreams
- Attract scholarships or sponsoring
- Make music your living even if you think you started too late, or are too old, or think the music industry is tough, or whatever negative stories we tell ourselves. The act of daily visualizations will change your negative beliefs, will raise your energy to more positive levels, and will make you find ways to succeed.
- Master that one tough solo you always wanted to learn but never thought within your reach.
- Raise your picking speed up many levels just by visualizing how fast you can play. (This stuff really works. Even Victor Wooten talks about this in his book “The Music Lesson”)
- … and so much more. Visualization can help you in achieving your musical goals or can boost your success in your music education in countless ways.
Visualize it happening, and you’re already there.
The mind is a fertile yard where the little positive seeds you plant, grow into big achievements, successes and great wealth.
That is why I have this page hanging in front of me above my desk, that sells Vreny to Vreny.
It’s my little 1 minute pep talk, telling me how great and special I am.
If you lack self-confidence or self-esteem, remind yourself every day of a couple of little achievements from the past that you felt really good about.
Remind yourself every day about a couple of successes that everybody applauded you for.
Remind yourself of how many friends you have, of how much you are loved by so many people, of how much your clients love working with you or of the things you are achieving right now.
As you keep reminding yourself regularly of these little (or big) things that make you special, your confidence will grow.
If you have something really exceptional that you want to accomplish, keep suggesting to yourself how well you’re capable.
Plant positive seeds in your mind like: “There is nothing I can’t do”. “I am ready for this”.
Repeat your little statements every day as a mantra, so the positive energy embedded in the messages become part of your fabric.
If you do this consistently enough, you will grow from a mouse into a super hero giant.
You will truly, deeply, from every fiber that makes up all that you are, start believing that yes:
- You are unique. There is nobody like you. Taking this further: nobody can play guitar like you, phrase like you, sound like you, etc.
- You can do whatever you feel like, anytime, and be successful at it.
- You can achieve all your dreams. You can achieve all your goals.
- You can be incredibly successful and highly regarded.
- You do have all it takes to become a master at guitar.
- You can change yourself to become a personality that is more geared towards success.
- You can find your way in life, attract the perfect partner, find your dream house, find & live your life’s purpose, be happy.
A couple of examples of such auto suggestion seeds:
- This guitar is mine? It is for sale. In my mind I take possession of it, and my subconscious powers make sure that I get this guitar.
- There is someone special in this world who needs me. I am getting a happy marriage with a friendly, loving, caring, intelligent, beautiful special, strong woman who will love me for ever. I am going to live a rich, happy, successful life with her.
- The infinite wisdom of my subconscious mind guides and leads all my actions. I am incredibly healthy and strong and the natural laws of harmony are forming and protecting my body and my mind. Beauty, love, oneness, peace and abundance are in my possession. My whole life is governed by universal principles based on correct values and universal order.
I know that these feelings are build on the eternal truths of life, and I feel how my subconscious taps in to this knowledge and guide my destiny in coordination with my conscious thoughts.
- The infinite wisdom that has given me this desire, is guiding me and showing me the way: the perfect path to the fullfilment of my dream/goal. I know that the hidden wisdom of my subconscious mind is currently working inside me and I know that everything I am feeling, dreaming and hoping, is becoming reality.
- My subconscious mind KNOWS the solution. It reacts at this very moment, to all my wishes.
I say it from the bottom of my heart, because I know that the infinite wisdom of my subconscious mind knows EVERYTHING and because I know that it is revealing the solution at this very moment. My indestructible certainty and confidence in the workings of my subconscious mind, releases the vast powers of this inner wisdom. I am very happy for that and very thankful.
- I am going to buy this… in my subconscious mind, I am already taking it into possession.
- The power of my subconscious mind is helping me find more clients right now. I’m incredibly thankful for being blessed that so many people want to pay me for my services.
How To Apply This To Musicianship.
Besides the many examples given above, you could also:
- Get over performance anxiety
- Develop more stage presence and charisma
- Find new levels of creativity
- Find peace with your music abilities and limitations.
- Find your own recognizable voice and style.
- Connect better to your audiences
- Grow bigger fan bases more quickly
- Get more out of your practice time. Learn more quickly more effortlessly
- Find the money to fund your musical projects.
- Earn more income with music
- Discover ways to be more inspired
- Overcome obstacles or weaknesses in your playing that always threw you for a loop.
- Attract better, stronger musicians.
- Change how you think and feel about something new you’re learning/practicing. Instead of thinking of something as “tough” or “difficult”, or “too fast”: tell yourself that you can do it already, but that your body just doesn’t know it yet.
- Overcome your weaknesses, doubts, fears or other things that are holding you back from being the musician you always wanted to be.
- etc… etc…
Whatever you want to achieve: create a little movie that you play in your mind on a regular basis and write little positive seeds that will attract whatever is necessary to help you make these goals reality.
I promise you: if you implement visualization and autosuggestion as a daily habit towards achieving your goals, you will see an entirely different level of success presenting itself.
It works, and it’s powerful!
Life is all the more colorful and all the more fun when you “flow” towards your successes with the least amount of strain or resistance.
Visualization and autosuggestion create that flow.
This blog is more important for your musical progress and your success in your musical goals, than any blog I have ever written on how to practice or on how to learn more efficiently, or that I’ve written on topics that augment your guitar skills or music knowledge.
If you have already used these techniques with success, I want to hear your stories.
Hit me up in the comments section below.
We can all learn from your story.
Also give this blog a rating or give me your feedback in the comments section below.
I believe everything can always be improved, and I gladly would implement your suggestions and ideas in this blog or the next.
Be on the look out for more blogs about everything guitar, music, songwriting and music education.
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Excellent piece .. I felt most of the negative was me all the Time.. I’m 43 just got 3 distinctions and 4 merits at college I went back as a mature student to learn guitar properly and piano .. I never played any gigs but I wrote 4 albums .I had one of my songs played on America TV show 2 years ago and I still thought I was not good enough .. I was worried I wouldn’t do well going back to school but I did it .. And even now I’m dreading going back in September as I feel I’m slow at learning compared to some of the younger students .. I’m going to take all you said on board here and I’m gonna change how I think .. I’m gonna attract good musicians to start a band I’m going to do better at music theory .. And I’m going to believe again like the time that u believed is get a song played on TVJuly 16th, 2015 at 10:24 pm
Cheers i needed this