Even though I'm going to talk about music students and music concepts, I firmly believe that the idea of knowing what we want applies to all aspects of our lives - and to what we end up getting. I'm sure I've blogged about this before, but it still applies.
In the book Alice in Wonderland, Alice asks the Cheshire Cat which way she should go. When he asks her where she wants to get to, she answers that she doesn't care. "Then," he replies, "it doesn't matter which way you go."
Whenever I have a new student (and often thereafter), I ask what they hope to gain out of lessons. The answer has become predictable - so much so that I have to force myself to actually wait for the answer.
"I want to get better."
"Ok. What does that mean?"
"I wanna get really good."
"Great! What does it mean to be really good?"
If we do not (or cannot) define what 'good' and 'better' mean, in specific detail, how will we know how to pursue them? How will we know if we're making any progress or if we've achieved these lofty ideals?
In short, if we don't know what we want, we'll never get it and wouldn't know it if we did.
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