Jake recently recommended a book, titled The One Thing, by Gary Keller.
The One Thing dives into applying the Pareto Principle to the extreme in order to simplify priorities and achieve maximum effectiveness. If you're unfamiliar with the Pareto Principle, it states that the minority of your efforts constitute the majority of your results. It's also commonly called the 20/80 rule, stipulating that 20% of your efforts constitute 80% of your results. I've spent the vast majority of the last 7 years testing and applying the Pareto Principle in different ways, after learning about it from author Tim Ferriss' The 4-Hour Workweek. Despite broad application of the Pareto Principle, The One Thing is now challenging me to be even more selective in what I invest my time in.
Today's post is about how to apply this concept to a new area of learning.
Doing the most important thing is always the most important thing.
I remember another way that Stephen Covey put was "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing."
Today, whilst driving home with Teresa, I commented "Man, if only I could duplicate myself, then I could take up piano and Chinese lessons."
"Weren't you about to sign up for Chinese lessons last fall - what happened?" Teresa began to ask, then stopped herself. "Wait, no, I know why you haven't been able to do those things. You decided to take up the GMAT, play sports 4 nights a week and block out most Sundays. On top of all that, you spend Saturdays with me. If you're up and out of the house by 5am and you get home by 10/11pm daily, how will you ever manage to fit additional projects in?"
Just like that, I was reminded that a majority of my week is being invested into doing things that I could do, not things that I should do. Well, the great news is that my GMAT Prep time is almost over and I now have Monday nights open starting mid-March. So this is the perfect chance to experiment with a new dream project!
Living the dream
In grade 12, I took one year of piano lessons where I learn the very basics of playing piano. Some of you have seen my cover videos over the years, where I've simply focused on learning one song at a time and following a basic YouTube tutorial to get there. This has allowed me to learn to play and sing simple, but awesome songs like
I've been on the worship team as a vocalist for my church for a little over two years now. I've always said that I want to learn and pick up piano again, but haven't gotten around to it. I'd really like to become a worship leader who sings/plays piano/leads the team. However, this doesn't really happen unless you can play music too. What better way of exercising my passion for music to glorify God? =D
The stigma is that worship music is fairly easy to pick up because some choruses are repetitive. Since it should be fairly easy, I can tackle this fearlessly knowing that I can only get better from here haha.
That being said, here's an experiment I'd like to invite you to help me out with. From what I've gathered so far, efforts should be concentrated on chord progression, different jazz piano styles/rhythms, learning pivoting, and understanding how piano works with other instruments (namely guitar and drums).
As a to-do list, all those ideas are too broad for a noob like me to understand because there isn't one thing that I can focus on. I have approximately 20 lyric sheets with chords on them and because I don't have time set aside to play piano, I sit down maybe once every few months to jam for an hour randomly.
Collectively thinking, if I were to set aside ONLY 20 minutes per day, what is the ONE THING that I SHOULD do that will not only teach me how to play worship songs, but also sing it and lead others too?
What is the most effective task I should focus on that will enable agile learning and improvisational navigation around the keys?
Desired Result: Be able to play and sing piano simultaneously for worship music
The One Thing: Practicing Scales. I've heard that the one thing that I should focus on is practicing scales. Looking into that, I came across Hanon - Virtuoso Pianist in 60 Exercises and was recommended to simply start with C Major.
Is there anything else you would advise that is more important?
Update (12/22/2016): How I learnt to play piano in 7 months
A blog on my continuing journey through life, covering self-development and success strategies, but also personal reflection.