It’s hard … until it’s not!

A decade ago I learned a lesson that is worth passing on: it’s hard – until it’s not. And sometimes baby steps are the most effective path through “hard”.

What do you avoid because you think it will be hard?
What don’t you start because you believe it will take too long?
What do you want to be able to do but never start learning?

For me, it was a piece of software. I wanted to transcribe my original music using Finale music notation software but the task of becoming proficient with the tool was daunting. There was no class to take. There was just me, my computer and this software that was definitely written in a foreign language!

What did I do?

I made a commitment with myself to spend 20-30 minutes/day (less if I needed less!) to learn just one aspect of the software. Just one each day! If you are a musician, you’ll understand that my just one steps included: how to change the key signature or the time signature, how to enter a quarter note, how to put the title of the song on the page. If I am speaking the foreign language of music to you now, consider these steps around cooking: how to read a recipe, where to find the ingredients in the grocery store, how to measure liquids, how to measure solids, how to crack an egg. This is what I mean by baby steps!

Would you like to know what happened? I followed through on my just one aspect per day commitment for a month. Just one month and I knew enough to enter my songs, hand-written on staff paper, into the computer. Since then I’ve entered perhaps 300 songs over the span of about 15 years. One month of effort definitely well spent!

Have I learned more since then?

Absolutely! But that one month, 30 baby steps, set a foundation which made future learning easy and enjoyable. I had overcome my resistance and felt a measure of satisfaction and productivity.

What do you want to accomplish?
What baby steps would get you there?
What commitment are you willing to make to yourself?
What is keeping you from starting?

What is YOUR wisdom?