John C. Maxwell on How to Learn from Experience
Tuesday Quotes are short explorations of music, life, and the daily endeavor of practicing classical guitar. Enjoy!
“Experience isn’t the best teacher, evaluated experience is.”
John C Maxwell
We all have our “blind spots”. Even though we’re intelligent humans, we can still make the same mistake time and again.
There is a reason why Einstein’s definition of “insanity” has become cliché – it’s true.
And we all know this. So why do we so often fall into the trap? Why don’t we always learn from our experiences?
Perhaps the answer lies in ritual. Do we have a ritual to evaluate our experiences and grow from them? Or do we assume that we’ll absorb the lessons without trying?
It takes time and attention to evaluate an experience. It may be just a few seconds, but it still takes the effort and intention to spend those few seconds.
Over time this can become a habit. After any experience we’ll remember to run a quick evaluation. But for most of us now, it helps to add some extra structure and organization. For this, we can ask questions and answer them.
For example, after an especially rewarding guitar practice, we could ask:
What happened to make this time feel so rewarding?
What did I do differently than usual?
And looking forward, what can I do to encourage this type of practice in the future?
For an especially difficult practice, we could ask similar questions. Even the most basic questions are beneficial: What worked? What didn’t?
The more we learn from our experience, the better experiences we’ll have. And to learn more, we can evaluate more. This can happen in the short term, such as after a single practice. And we can evaluate over a longer term, such as every two weeks or more.
This is one of the main benefits of taking lessons with a private teacher, or using a formal reflection system – we regularly evaluate.
These periodic reflections magnify our learning and lead to deeper understanding. And this brings more positive growth and progress. It spurs motivation and enjoyment. It keeps the mental gears lubed and the belts spinning.
Hi, I’m Allen Mathews.
I started as a folk guitarist, then fell in love with classical guitar in my 20’s. Despite a lot of practice and schooling, I still couldn’t get my music to flow well. I struggled with excess tension. My music sounded forced. And my hands and body were often sore. I got frustrated, and couldn’t see the way forward. Then, over the next decade, I studied with two stellar teachers – one focused on the technical, and one on the musical (he was a concert pianist). In time, I came to discover a new set of formulas and movements. These brought new life and vitality to my practice. Now I help guitarists find more comfort and flow in their music, so they play more beautifully. Click here for a sample formula.
I came on board three months ago and I’m loving it more than ever. I have maintained my practice pattern. I’m sticking wholeheartedly with the program as written. That makes it easy to see what I NEED to work on rather than just playing the shiny places I’ve gone beyond…..I’ve learned to focus 100% on what I’m doing that very minute….I’m developing strength in my left hand...I spend time with the videos in the evenings and always find something more to help me. I’m not looking for info anywhere else. Everything I need is right here in The Woodshed. You say “Jump” and I say “How high.” I’m so grateful I found you. You speak in a language I understand.
I think the program levels are a great way to teach the guitar. I have had several teachers over the past few years and none came close to the structured organization that you have put together.
Click the button to take a step towards an
organized, effective guitar practice. >>>