Tip Tuesday: Brick by Boring Brick
Have you ever seen the Great Wall of China? It’s pretty, incredible, right? The Great Wall of China is known world-wide for its length, structural integrity, ability to protect ancient provinces and municipalities, and its sheer splendor. Although the work was eventually halted, the Chinese spent thousands of years building the Great Wall.
Did you know the Great Wall of China is 13,170.7 miles long? That means the Great Wall could go from the East coast of the USA to the West Coast and back 3 times.
It’s six times the distance from coast to coast of North America.
Currently the Great Wall is over 2,300 years old.
The average width of the wall is about 20 feet.
The average height is 25.85 feet tall and the highest place is 45.93 feet tall. That’s about the height of a building with 4 stories.
So here’s this wall, six times the length of North America, about four stories high and it has been in place over 2,300 years now. Wow. That’s pretty amazing.
Can you imagine what people said when the idea was first thought up? Can you imagine how you would feel if someone told you they were going to build something of that capacity? You’d probably think it’s impossible and there’s no way it could ever happen, right? You’d most likely say it could not be accomplished and it seemed like a great idea but it just wasn’t really going to end up being anything worth doing.
Guess what? The Great Wall of China was built and the nay-sayers were proven wrong.
Did it happen over night? Did people think of it and just will the wall into being? No way!!
How was the Great Wall of China built? Brick by boring brick.
What can we take away from that?
Sometimes our goals can be incredibly hard to accomplish. We look at what the end result should be and are immediately overwhelmed.
Whatever the goal is, anything is possible one step at a time.
The Great Wall of China wasn’t built in a single day. It was built day in and day out, brick by boring brick.
What’s your “Great Wall” or lofty goal? You want to be able to read music fluently. You want to ace an audition and that requires sight reading. You want to be able to play that song you love. You want to cross over from one instrument to another. You want to do all sorts of things. It’s not going to happen over night. It won’t happen in one day. It won’t come easily, just because you had the idea.
Here’s the first step:
If you never start, you’ll never finish.
Get your instrument out & practice. Get your sheet music out and dissect it. Schedule lessons for that instrument you’ve been wanting to learn. Drill your flash cards.
Start. Go for it. Do it NOW. Don’t wait until tomorrow. “One day” isn’t on the calendar and it will never come. You have to commit today. Right now.
Hesitating to sign up for lessons, I have heard “but I don’t know how to do it” or “I have no experience.” None of that matters. Nobody is born knowing how to read music. Do not despise small beginnings. (Zechariah 4:10) Take the knowledge you currently have and go for your goal. Do it now. Start today. Do not delay!
The second step is to BREAK THINGS DOWN INTO SMALLER PARTS.
The Chinese didn’t start building the Great Wall from the top down. They didn’t even start by trying to build all 13,107.7 miles at one time. They started with a good foundation, in one area.
Do you have a good foundation in music? Are there areas you need to focus on to be able to get to that end goal?
Break your big goal down into mini goals. Are you going to practice 100 days in a row? Does that seem impossible? Go for 10 days in a row at first. Then go for 25 days. Then 50 days. Then 75. Then 100 and WOO you did it!
Don’t over complicate things. Simplify every big goal into a smaller, attainable yet challenging check-point.
Third, KEEP GOING. Don’t stop just because it’s difficult or boring. Don’t stop because you’re not happy with the way things are currently going. Keep on. You may think it’s impossible to get any better with technique or music reading. It’s not impossible, so you have to remind yourself of the end goal & how far you’ve come.
During your “Great Wall” experience, you’re going to want to quit. You’re going to want to back off. You will think of every reason not to do it. There’s always a reason not to do something. There will always be something in the way. Sometimes we don’t jump over hurdles, we have to keep in the race by pushing through. Day in and day out. Lay the boring bricks. Keep building on what you’ve already accomplished. The Great Wall was under construction for thousands of years. Keep going.
Keep a good record of where you started so you can look back at it on the days you want to quit. For me, that’s an accurate day-by-day practice record and videos so I can see what I worked on day 1 and I can see what I worked on day 15 and so on. When I want to give up, I go back to that practice journal and see that I am so much better now than I was seven days ago and it makes me want to continue to push!
Fourth, repeat steps two and three until you have reached your goal and are ready to set a new one!
What’s your Great Wall?
Let’s build it together.