The vision-driven approach

July 11th, 2012

The method I just described in the previous article is a vision-driven approach to learning, as opposed to the systematic step-by-step approach.

The vision approach requires two things.

First, a strong vision of where you want to go, and second, a do-whatever-you-can attitude to getting there.

For some, the approach may seem too unstructured, but to me, it’s the most effective way to learn and to achieve your goals.

For example, my Bach CD – I had a clear vision of what I wanted the CD to be before I could play a note of it, and then I figured out the way to get there.

Same thing with everything else I’ve worked on.

When I first heard John Williams play Asturias, I was amazed at the sound he was able to produce with just four fingers and six strings.

Guided only with the sound in my mind, I set out to discover the techniques behind it and many of the concepts I described on this blog are derived from that search.

It’s like a baby seeing adults walking around, and saying to himself/herself, that looks like a fun thing to do and then he/she just gets up and does it too (but not after falling a number of times).

A fundamental requirement to this approach is trust – trusting in the body’s innate ability to learn and teach itself.

To me, the structured approach is too rigid and preempts the many happy accidents that create magic in life.

You may get to where you want to go, but it’s never as good or as natural as the vision-driven approach.

Think of finding your way in an unfamiliar city.

You can take one of two ways to get around.

You can follow carefully prescribed paths and you may get to where you want to go, but you’ll never get to know the city as well as someone who follows his heart and finds his way around the city through instinct and through trial and error.

For instance, suppose you’re going your way one day, and you see this side street.

Now if you follow the prescribed paths, you will tell yourself not to bother, and you will go your usual way.

But if you follow your instincts, you’ll become curious and decide to go into that street. It could lead you to a dead end but it could also lead you to a shorter and easier way to get to where you want to go.

And who knows, you might even find an unexpected music store along the way, or discover a great restaurant or café.

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