I’ve been playing guitar for 20 years, and it’s depressing. Why? Because I suck. Now granted, I know the basic chords, a few strumming patterns, and a couple easy songs, but that’s it.
Could you imagine doing something for 20 years and still be terrible at it?
There is a perfectly good reason why my musical abilities haven’t progressed beyond the first few lessons of basic guitar class. I, my friends, am an amateur. That’s right. I’ve known it all along and never did anything about it.
You know what though? I’m not mad. How can I expect to be a guitar hero when I spent the last 20 years just dabbling and never making the decision to turn pro.
Amateurs dabble, professionals don’t.
Now, choosing to turn pro doesn’t mean you have to be on top of your game every moment of the day. It just means that you choose to be consistent, work hard, and make the right choice more often than you make the wrong one.
Professionals put in the work, even when they don’t feel motivated. Why? Because they show up, put their heads down, and make things happen. While I was spending time playing this chord or that chord, the future guitar pros were playing music scales over and over until they could do it in their sleep.
Now, like I said earlier, I’m not surprised about my lack of talent on the strings. Someone can’t swing a golf club once or twice a month and get upset about not sinking puts in front of the cameras on Sunday.
The same principle applies to having the type of physique you desire. You can’t be surprised about how you look and feel when you’ve been treating your nutrition and exercise like an amateur.
It’s completely okay to be an amateur. You can’t realistically be a pro in everything.
You must choose what is important in your life and make the choice to turn pro.
What does it mean to be a professional?
- You show up and perform, even when you don’t feel like it. Motivation is for amateurs. Commit to the process.
- Pro’s understand it’s about executing the daily work needed to be successful. Amateurs need variety. (Playing music scales vs. playing random chords.)
- Understand that success takes hard work and time. Amateurs want instant gratification. I can only play a small portion of Stairway To Heaven. That’s because I wanted to play it before I knew how to play guitar. Pros play the whole thing because they spent the time learning how to play guitar first.
- Develop a support system, but don’t rely on them. Richard Branson owns over 400 companies because he has surrounded himself with the right team. I highly doubt, however, that Mr. Branson relies on his staff to give him pep talks just to get him out of bed every morning and head into the office.
- Don’t get derailed by the bumps in the tracks. Every successful professional has been told no in his/her life. I bet every CEO has been let go from a job during their rise to the top. They didn’t quit though just because the road got a little bumpy. They took their licks, learned some valuable lessons, and got right back on track.
It’s okay to be an amateur, just be prepared to get amateurish results. If, however, you want to have the body you desire, the energy levels you dream of, and the strength to achieve all of your goals, then it is time to turn pro.