Great Tools Do Not Make Great Talents
Like many of you, I have been a “buy tools first, learn the tricks later” guy for long years. I always thought that the comfort of using a quality tool will motivate me to bring out the best in me. I always thought that using a quality tool will improve the results, right from the first step.
I bought a complete set of drawing tools and instruments (from charcoal to high-quality paint and drawing mount), so that when I really get into drawing, I will be able to challenge all areas of the art. I am still not Picasso. I have been procrastinating practicing serious things on the drums for two years, always telling myself that I am going to buy a new drum set anyway, and that when I have the right instrument, I will dive into serious playing. I still do not have the new set. That would you think, too, right?
THE TOOL IS THE REWARD, NOT THE CAUSE
Looking back, I realize that the comfort luxury gives did not motivate me, rather it filled me with complacence, and made ‘laziness hormone levels’ rise.
Following a natural path, when you pick up a new behavior or hobby, initially you have some basic tools for the trade, and try yourself. Then, if you feel competent in the area, you get active, and upgrade your inventory. Basically, you invest in what works. When you climb the ladder of expertise, you will probably build up an enviable repository of tools. And that repository will be loads better than the one that you would have had purchased at the beginning of your journey.
Two years had to pass until I realized that I can practice exactly the same things on my 20 year old basic drum set, that I would on a top-notch handmade rhythm prodigy. Even more, I found out about a few drum geniuses, who often play cheaper, less comfortable drums to improve their technique. Along those two years, I have jumped into quite a few hobbies and quite a few, uh-oh, “passions” quite a little heedlessly. Most of them did not ever take shape in any way.
5 ADVANTAGES OF FOLLOWING THE “WORK FIRST, REWARD LATER” ROUTE
- The tools that you collect along the journey will be more wisely selected. Experience grows wisdom, and through experience you will be able to select and buy the things that you really need. And, more importantly: only buy the things you really need.
- Pleasure after work invokes different results. A reward always boosts complacency. But what does a reward tell you? “Relax! You have worked hard, you can lean back for a few hours, no worries!” Exactly! That is the ideal situation. If you switch the phases, you are most likely to give in to the temptation, and lean back before doing the hard work. The hard work, which would have taught you to really appreciate the reward.
- Your passion may decrease. New ideas come and go, we tend to jump into quite a few of them. Some of these ideas are solid bases of serious activities later. However, most of these are just stuff we have the cool guys do, or we' have seen on television. Passion is not constant, it rises and decreases. In most cases, it decreases, that is natural selection. You should not stack up on top tools until you are sure (and you cannot be sure after five minutes) what you are doing is what you want to do for a longer period of time.
- You save money. This is probably the most obvious step. Funding a hobby is not cheap fun. Until you are a little into it, and have practiced it for at least a few months, do not invest assets in it.
- You leave space for the other things. When you buy all the tools and accessories you need for your newly arisen hobby, you kind of commit to practicing it. This might sound contradictory to what I said before, however, when you only stick to something because you know you spent all your money on it, then it is no longer too much fun. I have grown into a living example—you can have fun with an old drum set too, and you can take your first steps following the footprints of Picasso with just a basic pencil.
WORK, STOP WAITING FOR A MIRACLE
Miracles do happen. A smile in the morning, a kind gesture, an unexpected little gift. These happen. But I had to find out that a MacBook will not fly to my desk just because I thought that running a website is easier and more fun from it than a PC. I have quite a decent computer, that is no longer luxury, rabbiting on the Mac was just an exception to actually get working. And that happens quite often. Remember: do not let the absence of tools cause the absence of talent. You are not the tools you have.
You should check out his article about leaving techniques behind [http://www.simplywilldo.com/just-do-something] and starting to focus on actually doing things!
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