Mahatma Gandhi Tells How to Shape A Beautiful Future

Tuesday Quotes are short explorations of music, life, and the daily endeavor of practicing classical guitar. Find more here. Enjoy!

“The future depends on what we do in the present.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Looking back, time often seems short. A decade may feel like it passed in mere months. Memories appear as if from other lives.

And looking ahead, we may feel we have infinite time. Or we may feel like time is short.

But in fact, whether we look forward or back, we only have this moment. We create memories as images in our minds. And we have no guarantee of tomorrow.

Abrupt changes and ends are commonplace, though surprising – like solid ground when we fall.

When time feels short (in the day or the lifespan), we may be tempted to compromise on quality. We think that since we don’t have much time, it’s better to ignore training or “work” and just focus on what seems fun.

And this is valid, so long as a moment of diversion is the only goal. In the same way, junk food is fine if immediate gratification is the only concern.

But if we aspire to greater things, if we hold a higher vision for ourselves – what then?

Mahatma Gandhi also said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

For a musician, this means deliberate practice.

If we care about tomorrow, today’s practice matters. Even if it’s short. The focus and attention we bring to each moment will craft our abilities going forward.

Music is something we cultivate over time. We carve it from the stone of time like water etching canyons.

And as the sculptor of this future, we also get to enjoy the process. We can feel the daily satisfaction of intentional work. We can relish the knowledge that we’re releasing a masterpiece, as yet unearthed.

Allen Mathews

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 have lost my entire metallic sound while I am playing now. Even my single note practice sounds more melodious, less tinny. [The Woodshed technique practice] has made a major difference in my tone. Thank you.

-Harlan Friedman

As I said before, I think your site is outstanding. I have spent my life teaching adults difficult stuff that they really wanted to learn but didn't have the time to learn at the speed we teach university students. Thus I understand only too well how many hundreds of hours you must have spent perfecting your lessons to make my learning as quick and easy as possible.

-Mike Barron

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