Should Goals Require Discipline or Ease - Choosing Between Steak and Applesauce

Watch what you do naturally. What do you do that requires no motivation or discipline. In fact, what do you actively seek out, even when you're supposed to be taking a break from it. In January, I force myself to practice classical piano everyday (Chopin) and it was painful discipline, not fun. I wasn't enjoying it and it drains energy and moral. I started hating music because it was becoming a chore. I feared the love wouldn't come back. I didn't play for a month. Then one day I challenged myself to play guitar for 5 minutes and write a little song. My heart woke up. My passion was right there in the songwriting. I had been so focused on practicing the piano and I had completely neglected the more important reason behind why I wanted to learn piano in the first place - songwriting. It was like unleashing a flood gate and songs have been pouring out for months. Instead of forcing myself to sit a the piano for two hours each day, I'm gleefully passing 5+ hours daily without ever noticing the clock ticking. I believed that in order to accomplish something, I must be suffering along the way. I must set a lofty goal and beat myself up until I scale the unscalable mountain. Since ceasing the piano regime and returning to free form songwriting, I've had more breakthroughs, growth spurts, songs and enthusiasm pour out than before. Where did I get this idea that it had to be hard? The easy way led me to success. I had always thought the easy way leads to laziness, failure and mediocrity. It's not the intensity of struggle that determines the outcome; it's the personality taking action. A determined person can find the actions easy and still be determined to take them. It's like chewing steak vs chewing applesauce. One may be easier to chew than the other but neither is better than the other, based solely on the difficulty of chewing, because chewing is a subjective tactile preference which is unrelated to preference in flavor, appearance or nutrients. When deciding which food to eat, there are many factors to consider in addition to chewing. There are many things you can do in life. Some will be easy and some will be hard. Some will be health and some will be unhealthy. Some will be exciting and some scary and some peaceful. Each activity, project, decision we made is a unique mixture of all the qualifying adjectives. I can make music and it can be easy, scary, peaceful and unhealthy (cuz I stay up too late) at the same time. I shouldn't deem my activities worthy of my time exclusively on whether or not they are easy or require discipline. I mean, if anything, perhaps I should be on the lookout for all the life opportunities that are a combo of easy, fun and peaceful. I like that combo. If it's hard, boring or stressful, I'm probably not on the right track because this journey isn't bringing me joy and life is all about the journey. Let joy be the guide and all the dots will connect. // Cha

"Don't try hard, try easy." - Baron Baptiste

cha wilde - recording music - following dreams easy hard try
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