Magic of Humility: Part 1 – Music

I play a little guitar. I had some talent as a kid but I never stayed with it although I’ve always liked music. And then about 3 years ago I picked it up again. I guess I needed a new passion to grow with and my boy was of the age, so we started together. He, much like me as a kid, mostly gave it up, but I stayed with it. I guess the desire to develop oneself comes later in life. So anyway, I had the luck on stumbling on both some awesome online resources and on a friend that was willing to show me and teach me. About a year ago I even joined an amateur band where I play second guitar and sing with guys who are way better than me. So, with all these favourable circumstances and with my growth craving personality, I practiced a lot, and got pretty good at playing and singing.

Or so I thought. The cost of continuous progression and skill development is the inflation of ego. We get better at something, it becomes addictive, and after a while delusion of grandeur start developing. “Sh*t I am so good, I’m the next Freddy Mercury!”. Enter a humbling experience. We had a guest musician at the last rehearsal who has a voice that is order of magnitude more powerful than mine and he is also a better guitar player. And we both sang, and I could be barely heard. And at first it was unpleasant, because Freddy was no more. In his wake there was some guy who can maybe sing and play at kids’ birthday parties.

But when ego stopped hurting the whole experience became liberating. Energy is not spent anymore on reinforcing illusions but is freed for further growth. Now self is smaller and craves that new challenge and opportunity to enlarge itself again, fueling the passion. And simple daily progression becomes pleasurable again and the goal in itself.

So, it seems we need to be humbled often to keep a healthy perspective and to remain motivated. If you know everything already, how can you learn anything new? And to be humbled we need to risk something; we need to get out and try to conquer. We need to get out of our comfort zone, off the couch, we need to struggle, we need to overcome! And then we need to be humbled, so we can start all over again. And like everything worth anything in this world it comes with a price, in this case a bruised ego. But screw that guy, what good ever came from him anyways?

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