“Don’t ‘aim high.’
Aim very, very high.”
Tom Peters, The Little Bit Things
When I first started playing the guitar, my only goal was to play a handful of songs decently to impress people (i.e. the fairer sex). I learned some chords, I picked up a few tabs and tried my hardest to learn those songs. And what did it get me? Lack of motivation and mediocrity.
I wasn’t aiming for excellence; I was aiming for mediocrity. The problem with aiming for mediocrity is that you definitely won’t be great, you’ll be — at best — mediocre. And this is a sad realization which weighed me down as I progressed towards playing a few simple songs. Luckily, the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know jack. This helped me set a new goal. I didn’t want to just learn a few songs, I wanted to be great — not good — great. I’m aiming for the likes of B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, or Jimi Hendrix, virtuosos in their own right.
But you want to know the scary part? I don’t think I’ll ever get there. I’m doomed to fail because geniuses like that only come along once in a decade (sometimes less). But I’m okay with that because if there’s one thing I know for certain, it’s that if I don’t succeed in becoming a guitar virtuoso, I’ll still be damn good at playing the guitar.