November 22

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Using the Future

So much about learning the piano depends on motivation.

Actually...learning how to do anything depends on motivation.

You need motivation to go to work every day. To start and finish a project. To work out. To create things. And a whole lot more.

But why is motivation so hard to maintain? How is it that we can be excited about something one day, and not so excited the next?

A couple reasons, I think.

The first is a misconception about motivation. We think that to be motivated, we have to be jumping for joy every time we do the thing.

That's not true.

There were plenty of times I had to practice piano when I didn't feel like it. And even with South Shore Piano School, I had to take the time to learn the not-so-sexy parts of starting and running a business.

But when we think we're supposed to be loving every second of it, that's where we run into trouble. It's a top-three reason parents let their kids quit piano, in fact.

Because if they're not thrilled about practicing every time, we think they're unmotivated, and if they're not motivated, we should stop.

The second reason is a bit more abstract. And compelling.

It's that we stay stuck in the present or the past. And we don't think about the future enough.

If you think about the future, things get more exciting. How will your life change by completing this project? Working out today? Building this new skill?

How will that make your life better?

Things start to become more interesting. There's more of a "why" to take action today. That creates the motivation, which leads to the action.

But, when we're stuck in the past or the present...

I didn't practice all last week, so may as well not bother this week.

I'm tired and busy today, so I'll skip practicing today.

...that's where we lose our motivation to take action today. That's why using the future can be so helpful.

Whether it's thinking about how you want the next year, the next week, or even the rest of today to go. Think about the future you can look forward to.

And the actions you need to take right now to get there.

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For parents, students, and anyone else who believes that music can and should be a meaningful part of everyone's life.

About Jonathan Roberts

I am the founder and director of the South Shore Piano School, and I have been teaching the piano for nearly 20 years. My work centers around bringing music to the lives of kids, parents, and adults in an enriching, meaningful way. At the South Shore Piano School, my incredible colleagues and I accomplish this through skill-based teaching, community, and an innovative, people-first business model. You can read more about me here.


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