Why You Should Be Impatient – Now!

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land turtle isolated on white

We have all heard that patience is a virtue. Patience is also a necessary skill for every musician. We must have patience while we develop our technique, learn our repertoire, or memorize a piece of music.

After all, music is an art of “becoming.” You aren’t simply born a musician; you “become” a musician, and that takes time, diligence and patience.

But impatience can also be a valuable tool. While patience is strong and steadfast, impatience urges us to take quick action and inspires us with energy, drive and motivation. Impatience is the kindling that turns our creative spark into a roaring fire. When you understand how to use your impatience, you are tapping into a powerful force.

Think of how impatient you might be to:

  • Start learning your “dream” piece.
  • Plan a special performance.
  • Develop your personal repertoire.
  • Play music with a group of friends.
  • Try playing music in a different musical style.
  • Compose your own music.
  • Have some fun improvising or playing by ear.

Your “good sense” might be telling you to wait. But suppose you let your impatience force you to act; what are the possibilities? And isn’t it worth taking the chance to find out?

Acting on creative impulses like these can be fun and freeing, even when things don’t go exactly the way you thought.  And the one thing you can count on is that you won’t ever do it if you don’t ever try.

But it can feel scary to take this kind of a musical leap. Here is some encouragement for you, so you don’t have to feel as though you are stepping off a cliff.

  1. Act now. If you feel you need advice, ask a teacher or one close friend or colleague. But don’t waste time wondering if this is the right thing to do. Start doing it today.
  2. Ignore the fear. The legendary motivational speaker Zig Ziglar called fear “False Evidence Appearing Real.” You likely have some very real obstacles to overcome on your journey, but fear shouldn’t be one of them. Don’t let fear stand in your way.
  3. Don’t wait for permission. That mythical day when you will be “ready” won’t announce itself or magically show up on your calendar. Declare yourself ready today.
    And finally…
  4. Make your plan. Take 15 minutes and write down the steps you need to take to achieve your goal. Keep your written plan in front of you so you stay on track. Then, act with impatience. Take that first step today.

What is your first step? Tell me in the comments below.

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  • Lorna Ota

    Dear Anne,

    After reading your article, I am planning to work on repertoires, YES, not one but for the four big celebratory times a year in my state of Hawaii. I will polish up on the songs I already know and categorize it…say Christmas. If another song of the same season comes up quickly, I’ll start practice on that. When I’m bored with Christmas and New Year songs, I can start into the Lenten and Easter; Romance and Endearing songs for Val’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Anniversaries; Patriotic for Commemorable Days. I’m sure you have better ideas for me, but for a creative start, doesn’t this sound less burdensome to plan for any occasion until I discover a better way? Unless, of course, new songs are requested (which will most likely happen, but I’ll deal with that at the time (:+)!!!

    I think this will really help me from being bored of repetitious practicing. Perhaps I’ll return to the previous song(s) I learned and forgot with more enthusiasm.

    I have a huge plan, but at least I’ll have categories to guide my repertoire preparation for different occasions, instead of hunting through piles and piles of music, etc. I’ll be less anxious when someone asks me to play for an occasion and resound with a “YES!” Thank you so much, Anne. Never thought of discussing this with anyone before. Woe is me, but it’s never too late, right?

    P.S. – In Haw’n beliefs of our ancestors, we all have an ‘aumakua’ (a spirit guide that is usually in the form of nature, such as a turtle, owl, shark, etc) These ‘friends’ show up in aspects of our lives when we need, say a divine thought to help us over the stone/boulder, such as the patience and persistence of a turtle. It just happens that the turtle is one of my Hawaiian family’s aumakua, and I knew this message was especially for me!


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