Last year I fulfilled one of my dreams and learned to play the guitar, spending only 10 minutes every day, for a month. Learning basic chords was an obvious start for a beginner but it wasn’t easy. I didn’t have a good ear for music. My fingers were rigid and I had difficulty stretching them properly, especially the pinky which always followed the ring finger (it’s funny how our brains are wired). I had difficulty switching between chords since it required quick repositioning of fingers. While I knew exactly what I needed to do, my body wasn’t able to do it. A couple of weeks later, that was no longer a big problem.
Then I moved onto more difficult chords, bar chords, and power chords. After a month I was able to play some of my favorite rock songs, though simpler ones. In total, that was around 300 minutes or 5 hours of practice. I am now enjoying learning more complex songs.
This experience reminded me of something important that easily eludes us in our noisy lives filled with instant gratification. Doing small things every day for longer periods of time can yield amazing results – with small efforts. At the beginning of my new notebook, I wrote a reminder to myself: keep it small and be persistent.