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Relaxed Concentration.

I have 5 months left… That might seem like a lot of time to people in terms of preparing for a concert but based on the learning gap and expectations I have on myself, I’m really starting to freak out. My guitar will be ready in December, and I want nothing more than to be able to play something BEAUTIFUL on it and have my pieces ready by then. That will give me another month or so to refine, and really focus on making the show itself memorable and unique.

I’m glad to have Cliff back. The last few months have been crazy for him, both positive and negative factors taking him away from the build. Part of me is relieved because my progress is behind as well, and I feel like I’m not ready to receive the guitar. I have no doubt in his abilities and his drive to complete the guitar. That hasn’t changed. But it is interesting to seeing the real life parallels in our journey’s and the struggles. If we didn’t have full time jobs and we did this full time, likely these delays would not be as impactful, but this is our reality.

Any other creatives looking to get unstuck will need to go through the same thing. There is no getting around the priority shift, not only from a time perspective, but prioritizing your mental energy. I’m finding “mental focus” is the most important ingredient to achieve any kind of success. It is also where I struggle the most. It’s always been a challenge for me and something I will likely have to actually work on for the rest of my preparation.

One of the most important books I’ve read that addresses this is “The inner game of Tennis” by W. Timothy Gallwey. Although the book was written for tennis players and mastering the mental game of tennis as a sport, it is a proven method to overcome self-imposed obstacles like self-doubt, nervousness, and lapses of concentration. It has also been adopted and even designed to help musicians overcome these same impediments. In order to get to a state of what Gallwey calls “Relaxed concentration” I need to first get my skills up to a certain level through natural learning and then trust my body’s natural abilities to perform. I want to really enjoy my experience on stage and share that experience with my audience.

The time is now!

-- Noel

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