“Nah man, I’m gonna pass.”
I bet my friends are tired of hearing that.
It’s become the running joke.
“Who wants to go out tonight?” “Who wants to grab lunch today?” “Anyone doing anything?”
Then almost without pause, they say, “Painter will be playing drums, he’s out.”
Jokingly, I reply with a pic, from behind my drum set.
In “The 1% Rule”, Tommy Baker writes:
“As a culture, saying no is seen as confrontational. We’d rather say yes to something we know we’re going to hate and then cancel at the last minute. We exchange long-term fulfillment for the short-term gratification of pleasing others.”
One of my goals two years ago, was to become a world class, professional drummer. Using the anecdotal “10,000 hour rule,” I estimated that if I could just put in 1,000 hours of drumming a year, I should reach “expert” level (roughly 10,000 hours) within 10 years.
I’m two years in, and have logged approximately 2,000 hours. I’ve traveled to Canada and Ireland to train with some of the drumming greats. I’ve learned over 125 songs, and play in several bands.
Some see the social media clips, and think drumming comes easy to me. We don’t see the late nights, drumming upstairs by myself when I could have been watching television. All the lunch invites declined. All the nights out that could have been.
When I needed to learn 40 songs in 11 days for a show, I would practice for over 6 hours a day. I would put an hour in, then break for 15 – 20 minutes.
How many of us can truly commit to something for 10 years?
Again, from “The 1% Rule”:
“We’re obsessed with the highlight reel of life. Our expectations are sky high, and we’re prone to giving up at the first sign of struggle or obstacles. Enthusiasm is common, endurance is rare. Behind every overnight success are years of focused effort, challenge, struggle, rejection. To achieve overnight success will require a decade of consistency.”
It’s easier to give in to the distractions and fuck off than it is to dedicate yourself to honing a new craft.
Have you ever been snowmobiling? It’s a rush. The best way I can describe it, is like riding a motorcycle in the wilderness. No roads to hold you back. When I owned a Harley-Davidson, I was limited by traffic signals and laws. No such thing on a snowmobile.
Today I’m in Breckenridge, Colorado. I booked my snowmobile ride weeks ago.
And I’m not going.
$130, non-refundable. Set that shit on fire.
While my buddies are out having the ride of their lives, I’m sitting here in the hotel room because I made a commitment to write a story every day, for the next 90 days.
Sure, I just finished my first real estate book, soon to go to print.
But it’s just that. It’s a book. It’s not my story.
If I hope to achieve my goal of writing my story, in the next 90 days, I will need the same determination that allowed me to learn the drums in 2 years.
There will be days of saying no to things I would really love to do.
I’d love to be snowmobiling right now. Tough shit. I have work to do, and hours to build.
Sometimes you have to do the things that others refuse to do now, so you can live in a way that others only dream of living later.