The guitar riff just didn’t sound right. I had the notes. I had the timing. Yet, it didn’t sound how I heard it in my head—loose, fluid, natural. I focused and gripped the neck tighter. I hammered down each finger onto the strings and plucked each note with strength and sharpshooter accuracy. But something was missing. Something intangible.
I played over and over until I had to stop and rest my hand. My hand cramped and my fingers were raw. Then it hit me— I was holding on too tight.
We are told we need to attack our goals. We grasp onto plans and dreams and squeeze until they become our next success or failure.
But think about your goals: eating healthy, getting the promotion, looking better naked. We imagine what it’d be like to accomplish it and we attack. We make grand gestures and unsustainable plans to get what we want right away, rather than using loose, fluid steps and system to get there. Our plans of attack become horse blinders and we can’t see the subtle adjustments needed to progress
When we replace rhythm with rigidity, we lose.
It’s good to hold ourselves to a high standard. However, the path to achievement doesn’t have to be exactly as we’ve mapped in out in our minds. Goals, plans, people— they all change. The way we feel about them changes, which means our strategies and execution must be loose and adaptable. It’s when we loosen the reins that new paths appear. When we relax our minds we become ready for the key change.
If you’ve found the notes but are missing the rhythm, try loosening up.