A while ago, I wrote an article called “Are You a Bagpiper or a Wannabe”. At the time I wrote this piece, the main component of the article was focused on making the decision to "do it". I recently turned 55 and in doing that I realized that even though I have accomplished a lot of things in my life so far, financial independence is not one of them. I have been a full-time musician for 15 years and work for myself. The last 3 years have been among my best, despite the fact that we’re in a depression that some say is almost as great as the Great Depression. (I’m not sure where I would be if I was working for someone else during this period of time.)
That being the case, I have decided that I wanted to do a couple of things. One was to develop a “Mastermind Group” as I feel that “two or more heads are better than one” to challenge my entrepreneurial tendencies. Upon doing some internet research on this project, I found that a lot of these groups are based on a book by Napoleon Hill called “Think and Grow Rich”. I downloaded the book and began to read it. It has inspired me to expand the aforementioned blog according to the philosophies I've learned from Hill thus far.
It is not enough to have a desire to become a bagpiper. You need to have a burning desire and a belief that you can succeed in this endeavor. If you have any doubt about it at all, you will not reach your goal. Last night, a student was telling me that he was having great difficulty memorizing music. He practices all of the time and I would say that he is in the top 10 percent of my students. It is not only how much you practice, I told him. The question is: Does he believe without a doubt that he can eventually memorize the music? If there is any doubt, he won’t.
In thinking about this situation, I recalled a job I had earlier in my life. I worked for 5 ½ years in a business that didn’t pan out financially. I worked my buns off. The problem was that I didn’t believe in it and doubted that I could be successful doing it. I remember meeting with my boss for “attitude sessions”. I honestly thought that I had a good attitude and was positive, but deep down I questioned whether I could do it.
I try not to make a big deal over memorizing music. I tell my students that if they play a tune enough times it will click. Maybe it works if they truly believe that they are capable of memorizing the music. Belief is so incredibly powerful! Perhaps it is the difference between success and failure in any endeavor.
Gary Guth is a professional bagpiper with over 45 years of playing experience and has been teaching bagpipes full time for the last 20 years. He has written "Bagpipes For Beginners", "the Bagpipe Hymnal", and " A Piper's Christmas".