The process of mastery

Photo by Oleg Ivanov

During my childhood, I always wanted to play an instrument, but for a variety of reasons, it just wasn’t in the cards for me. As an adult, I still wanted to learn to play an instrument, just not badly enough to, well, actually put in the effort required. As we all must do, I made choices among competing priorities, and playing an instrument just never quite made the cut.

Learning an instrument is unlike learning most other things; compared to most other things we try to learn it has a big difference in the time required between “Hmm… I’d like to learn this” and “OK, I’m pretty good!”. Knowing from the onset what kind of commitment would be required was something of a hindrance, and I was never quite ready to make the leap.

With that preamble, I am happy to report that I am now 2 years into learning to play the guitar. While I am far from any sort of proficiency, I can truthfully say that I play the guitar even if I feel obligated to follow up with a quick “But I am still not very good yet”.

I’ve always thought that being able to acquire new skills itself is an important skill to have, and this has offered an opportunity to reflect on the learning and mastery process when it occurs over a longer timeframe.

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