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Going for the Easy Win

Discouragement happens.  Sometimes when you get stuck it is hard to get yourself motivated again.  This can be in anything!  Music, business, exercise…  The best piece of advice that I have ever received about how to get unstuck is to go for the easy win.


What?  What do you mean go for the easy win?

Shouldn’t I look at where I want to be, reverse engineer, figure out all the steps I need to get to my end goal, and start working from the beginning?

Isn’t that how this is all supposed to work?

In an ideal world where discouragement doesn’t happen and you don’t just want to quit everything, yes.  That is the way it should work.  Having said that, we don’t live in an ideal world. (Sorry for the rude awakening.)

Instead of doing all of the planning and reverse engineering, when you feel stuck, you need to look at what needs to be done and pick the low hanging fruit.  Pick the thing that you can accomplish the quickest and most easily, and do that thing.

Here is the thing about the way we work…  Once you have that easy win, it is so much easier to convince yourself to keep going.  You get to pat yourself on the back, check something off, and then you can look at what to do next.

So, let’s bring this back to music.  Let’s say that I just can’t get excited about practicing for an upcoming concert.  I will do the easiest thing first so that I can feel some sense of accomplishment.  That can be something as small as organizing my music and putting it in a binder.  Sometimes it is listening to a YouTube clip of the music while watching my music.  Sometimes it is playing the easiest most quickly gratifying piece right off the top.  Any of these items will feel like a win and give me motivation to actually continue and practice properly.

So, when you feel stuck, don’t worry about what you “should” be doing;  as long as you are avoiding doing anything, you won’t get anywhere.  Go for the easiest win, and then re-examine what still needs to be done.

So, what will this look like for you?

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