BE THE HERO OF YOUR OWN MOVIE
How visualization of goals can supercharge your results
By Aldo Chircop
Before you begin a journey, you need to know where you want to go. It is vital to know your specific goals clearly to define the best possible strategy to achieve them. Take your time to really think about what you want to achieve in music.
Maybe you want to be a maverick able to play any musical style, or maybe you are mostly interested in only one or two styles which you really love. Maybe your greatest interest is to be able to play the songs of your favourite artists, or maybe what drives you most is to eventually write your own songs, record them and perform them on stage. Maybe your goal is to be in a successful band, or maybe you prefer to be a solo artist and call all the shots yourself.
These are just some typical goals which might apply to you, and it’s not meant to be an exhaustive list. You might be interested in only one or two of these goals, or you might eventually want to achieve them all. Or maybe you want something else altogether. Whatever you want, it’s essential to know exactly what it is. And don’t be afraid to set BIG goals. No goal is too big to dream about.
Just ‘knowing’ in the abstract what your goals are is not powerful enough, however. You need to make them come alive. You need to make them motivate you.
First things first
The first thing you need to do is to write down your goals in as much detail as possible. Yes, physically write them down with pen and paper.
Next, you need to think deeply about the reasons for wanting to achieve those goals. Why do you want them? What do you hope they will give you? Keep asking ‘why’ until you cannot reduce it any further. This will reveal the true purpose at the core of each goal.
Here is a helpful hint: the real reasons are always emotional. How will it make you feel to achieve each goal? Take as much time as you need to think about it and write it down.
Next, I want you to visualize yourself having already achieved and surpassed your musical goals.
Visualization is the practice of imagining vividly a certain activity or performance in your mind. This principle is widely used by a variety of elite performers in all fields, be it musicians, athletes, race car drivers, sports people etc. Tests have confirmed that combining visualization with physical practice will greatly enhance the results you get.
It has even been shown that in some cases, visualization alone can give better results than actual physical practice without visualization! (No, I’m not saying that you can get away with not practicing your instrument.☺)
If you have some favourite songs which you would really like to play, visualize yourself playing them confidently, perfectly, and effortlessly. Visualize yourself playing them even better than the original artist who performed them.
What's your goal?
If your goal is to play in a band and be a performer, visualize yourself on stage in front of a big crowd. Make the image as vivid as possible. Hear the roar of the crowd as they go crazy for your performance. Hear and feel the thundering of the drums and the other instruments behind you, the whole band perfectly synchronized together. See and smell the mist from the dry ice machines swirling around you. See the coloured spot lights on stage. Feel the excitement in your heart. Feel the guitar sitting comfortably in your hands, a perfect extension of your body and mind as you effortlessly transform every thought and emotion into sound. Imagine the most luscious, glorious guitar tone coming out of your amplifier. See yourself commanding the stage and the crowd with supreme confidence.
Always visualize yourself succeeding to the greatest degree possible! This is your own movie, and you are the star and hero of that movie. So absolutely no negative thoughts or notions of failure must ever enter it. In your own movie, you only get to WIN BIG!
Believe and know that you will achieve your goals.
Just doing this visualization exercise for a few minutes daily, will make a huge difference in your mindset and in the results you will see from your efforts.
About the author:
Aldo Chircop is a guitarist, composer, producer and guitar teacher based in Malta. He is president and chief instructor of Malta Rock Academy, home of the best guitar lessons in Malta.