I learned how to play the guitar the other day. It's great! I always wanted to know how. I've seen other musicians play so effortlessly and thought this would be great time to learn. So, I turned to my favorite authoritative source, YouTube, and found a quick tutorial. All done! Finished! Now I know how to play the guitar. There's just one catch. I can't do it yet. It turns out that knowing HOW to do something and actually being able to do it are two different things.
The hard truth for me is that there are many things I know how to do but haven't taken the time to put the knowledge into practice. I think of the courses I've taken, the workshops I've attended, the books I've read, the ideas I've written down, the projects I've started, the . . . ok, this is getting depressing! I'm sure you get the point.
Other than sinking into a constant state of depression, what else could I do? The first thing that comes to mind is that some choices have to be made. It's not possible to do everything on my list, at least not at the same time. Whether I choose to remove something or to reschedule it for later, I have to make choices.
Once I have made my choice, and assuming I have chosen something that is truly important, how will I follow through? Let me tell you a story.
A few years ago an aspiring trumpet player approached me about taking lessons. He asked the usual question, "How much will it cost?" to which I replied, "More than you ever expected to pay." Sensing his disappointment, I continued, "In addition to my weekly fee it will cost you daily investments of patience and persistence. There is no 'fast forward' when it comes to learning a musical instrument, or anything else of great value."
I still remember working with that young student. I also remember those two words that I said would be part of his payment - patience and persistence. There were more than a few discouraging lessons for him but he hung in there and accomplished more than he expected.
What about you? What's on your list that could use an investment of patience and persistence? If it's something that still matters to you, it may cost more than you expect but the return on your investment could make it all worthwhile. Let me know how it goes.