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Motivation : It Doesn't Work the Way You Think

 

 The Quest for Motivation - story of Ghengis Khan

 

I want to start with a quick story: Do you remember learning about Ghengis Khan in school? Yeah, me neither. I actually learned about him when I taught my kids in our homeschool, and I was intrigued by him. 

 

I would consider him a human with high motivation. In Mongolia, they have a word that describes creative passion. The word is Temul, and it comes from the root of the name, Temujin - who is also known as Ghenghis Khan. Temujin and Ghengis Khan are the same person. The word Temul has a poetic translation in Mongolian culture, they describe it as “the look in the eye of a horse that is racing where it wants to go, no matter what the rider wants.”

 

I love that description. I’ve seen that look in a horse’s eye before. It’s a little scary, honestly. Because there is NOTHING that is going to deter that horse from its path. Sometimes a fear will spook the horse into...

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Generating Motivation on Purpose

My music students have asked me over the course of years I’ve taught music lessons how to cultivate motivation to practice when they don’t feel like it. I love it when they ask me this because it means they’re ready to ‘level up’ in their musical abilities.

 

Many of you know I'm a classically trained pianist. I used to practice for three to four and sometimes upwards of six hours a day while studying piano performance in college on scholarship.

I didn't want to practice, but did it anyway out of sheer grit.

And then I burned out. And I burned out hard.

 

When my students ask me about motivation, I usually ask them some form of the question, “how do you want to feel about your music?” They almost always say, “I don’t know,” which to me is never a suitable answer.

 

I then follow up and say, “Don’t you want to be really good? Isn’t that what you’re going for by taking lessons from...

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