What a Navy Seal can teach you about learning guitar
Jocko Willink and Discipline Equals (Fretboard) Freedom
In this article, I want to share some ideas and insights that I've got by enjoying the content published by Jocko Willink. Jocko Willink is a former US Navy Seals commander, with a track record of many deployments all around the world in leadership roles;
Now he publishes books and podcasts all about discipline and leadership when he's not busy running his own consulting company.
The Navy Seals are the primary special operation forces of the US Navy and, how you can imagine, are totally badass people.
Now, how all this stuff relates to guitar?
Well, apart from that Jocko loves playing guitar like us, and, when a teenager, he had his band (The Bronson's Children), there are a couple of things of Jocko's mindset that we can apply to make our guitar practice better.
Beware, this is not the usual, boring, motivational article that you'll forget after 5 minutes, but it will provide you with practical advice that you can incorporate into your guitar routine.
Motivation does not work
It’s not about motivation. Motivation is a fickle little emotional thing and if you get too hungry sometimes you’re not motivated, or if you get too tired sometimes you’re not motivated. Or if it’s been a long day you lose your motivation. So that’s why motivation doesn’t matter to me. Jocko
Don't count on motivation.
Substitute that word with "Discipline". Write down your training program, and execute it daily.
It does not matter how you feel. Do your 10, 15, 20 or 60 minutes per day practice, every single day. Period.
From a guitar teacher's perspective, it's way better to practice consistently a few minutes a day, than sitting big hour once a week.
Take extreme ownership of yourself
Actually, is not discipline, but self-discipline
As in every field of life, things can go wrong. With your teacher, with your bandmates, with your gear.
Never ever complain, but always think about how to make the most of your time.
The only thing that you can actually control is you.
- Broke a string? You can try to invent new scale fingerings.
- Broke the guitar? Take pen and paper and write down some fretboard maps.
- Broke an arm? Try our interactive learning software
You've got the idea.
With your self-discipline, you can fight procrastination, adapt to situations, and improve a little every single day: if you learn one chord a day, at the end of the year you'll know 365 chords, think about it. Is with this spirit that I created 52 chord progressions ebook.
Ego clouds and disrupts everything: the planning process, the ability to take good advice, and the ability to accept constructive criticism. It can even stifle someone’s sense of self-preservation. Often, the most difficult ego to deal with is your own. Jocko
Your ego can be the worst enemy of your improvements.
You should always be aware of your lacks and mistakes, and always listen to others (both while playing music and while talking with your teacher, bandmates, fan)
Ego can be useful because it gives you the right drive and aggressivity to compete for getting better, but never allow it to obfuscate your judgment.
We Have Just Scratched The Surface
We have just scratched the surface of Jocko's world.
I recommend taking some time to read his books or listen to his podcasts because they can help you acquire the right mindset for improving your guitar skills and become a better human being in general.
At the end of the day, it's a matter of discipline, focus, and clarity of vision.
Here are some links if you want to learn more about Jocko:
- Extreme Ownership: this is one of the most popular Jocko's book in which he talks about discipline and ownership, in business and life.
- Jocko Podcast: a podcast in which Jocko and his guests talk about war and human psychology.
This ends our derailment into the Navy Seals mindset, now back to the guitar with an iron discipline! To stay updated, please subscribe here.