SRS What's my deal?

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Mikhail117, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. Mikhail117

    Mikhail117 New Member

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    I'm very competitive-- every time I put my mind into something, I always want to be #1, no matter what it is.

    An example. I started playing guitar in my first year of high school, and I'm a senior right now. I thought I was doing pretty alright (I can play jazz, classical, electric guitar), then a day or two ago, I jammed with a couple of sophomores, and their lead guitarist wiped the floor with me with his licks. I just left then and there, making up some stupid excuse so that I could get out of there.

    Felt bad after that-- I know, I overreacted. But really, I don't like it when someone gets ahead of me in something. I even quit Classical guitar because my cousin got ahead of me after doing it for six months.

    I was pondering on it a couple of hours ago, and I figured that I have this idea that when you've been doing something longer than somebody else, you should be better than him/her. A 'seniority' complex, I guess.

    Can anyone help me? Give me some advice so that I don't go off feeling incompetent whenever someone gets ahead? I really don't like feeling like a loser when it comes to things like this.

    Thanks to anyone who replies.
     
  2. arseclown

    arseclown Guest

    whenever i come across a situation like that, i always make that person that i think is :bowdown: my friend.

    1) you get a new friend
    2) you get friendlier infos on how he/she got to where he/she was
    3) you can do stuff with the person in the field you want to improve in (collaborate)
    4) ???
    5) Profit

    I used to be like you at the end of high school. Then I got to college and realized that I'm really not that unique. Not everyone thinks I am a god. I'm only as good as I feel I am, and why would I let the success of others offend or make me feel negative about myself? If anything, it should make you want to do more / be better.

    I've gotten some pretty good friends out of the deal because of this attitude, too.
     
  3. AlohaRacing

    AlohaRacing Freak that bitch out

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    You're still young with a lot to experience, especially within the next 10 years. One of those things you'll realize is that there will ALWAYS be someone better, regardless of your craft. You just have to be the best you can be. Master yourself and the rest will follow.
     
  4. JordanClarkson

    JordanClarkson OT Supporter

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    i was like you. i'd pick something up, realize that i was good at it, but didn't work too hard because i relied on my talent. when someone better came along, i'd simply give up in defeat.

    but i realized that some of the most skillful people started off with no natural talent, but got to where they are by working hard at their craft.

    so i took up photography. i suck at it, so it's forcing me to read tons of books and take lots of pictures. when i come across someone more skilled i dont hang my head in shame because i don't expect myself to be anywhere near that level. this will make the hobby last longer too :)
     
  5. Yuppy

    Yuppy Have a seat right there....

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    in high school, no one is the best at everything or anything.

    it just takes hard work. if i were you I would work to learn some more challenging jams.


    but if you want to get pussy in college

    all you have to know is a few: preferrably classic rock ones and some john meyer (if you can sing, every time this shit melts the panties off)
     
  6. Mikhail117

    Mikhail117 New Member

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    Thanks for the advice.

    I guess it'll all work out in the end, then. Much thanks.

    I know that all people have to start somewhere-- I just can't seem to get my head around it. I mean, everybody gets from there to here quite differently. What bothers me is that some people have certain advantages (economically and socially), so they get ahead of people who have the same amount of skill due to these contributing factors.

    It's annoying. Really, it is.

    Uh, haha. I'll keep that in mind. :drool:
     
  7. Stilgar1973

    Stilgar1973 New Member

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    Your going about it all wrong.

    You realize that one way to improve is to hang out with people that are better then you and let them teach you.

    You might have blown an opportunity to do just that.
     
  8. Mikhail117

    Mikhail117 New Member

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    First of all...
    :hsugh:

    Secondly, thanks for replying.

    I don't think I've blown any opportunities, though. I do admit that quitting classical guitar lessons because of my cousin was a wasted opportunity, but voluntarily choosing not to learn from someone younger than I isn't... well, to me, anyway.

    Let's face facts-- everyone has some sense of pride. And to humble myself and ask someone to teach me how to do this and how to do that would definitely hurt my ego. I've always, always tried to figure stuff out on my own. And when I couldn't wing it the first couple of times, I'd ask someone much older than I, someone who's gathered experience through time, because they, at least, don't see me as some sort of god damn hero.

    Yes, I'm a friggin' hero in my school. It's a stupid thing to bring up, and it's equally arrogant and obnoxious to say it-- but I am one of the best guitarists in my school. I don't mean to offend anyone and I don't mean to take names, but if you want to understand, you'll have to know the whole story.

    The high school's new, and I was one of the first students to enroll. I started the first band in the school back in 2005, and many others followed. One thing led to another, and I was soon seen as one of the best guitarist the school had to offer. Let's shift to last year. This kid I knew from the elementary chapter of the school comes to high school. He's a guitarist too, sees me as some sort of big brother to mentor. I teach him some riffs, some scales, some jazz chords, and point him towards jazz/classical/bossanova type music. He gets a teacher (something that my parents cannot afford these days, with me going to college and all.) and gets better, although I don't notice.

    A couple of months back, there was a battle of the bands. My band wins first, and his wins second. We're all happy and junk, and I see that he's getting better-- he can play the songs that I couldn't play when I was his age. Yesterday, we jam, and he wipes the floor with me. Unknowingly, it tears me apart. This kid's two years younger than me, and he's already doing what I could only start doing a year ago. I leave, and I thank him for the session.

    Now, I feel like I'm incompetent-- useless and junk. Thanks to the previous posts, however, the sense of inferiority has lessened. Hope you get what I'm saying.

    Again, I don't mean to offend. I respect you as much as every level-headed guy that I meet.
     
  9. Victoriono

    Victoriono New Member

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    Practice harder, that's what he does. He is not lucky, he is not a natural talent, he practices instead of worrying about what other does.

    May come of harsh, but this is the truth. We always look on other who are talented in some area and think they've just gotten there by some born talent of theirs.

    Look up on how to deal with jealousy/envy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
  10. METALLlC BLUE

    METALLlC BLUE New Member

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    Does this impair your quality of life?

    Your ego was bruised by this individuals capabilities? Has it crossed your mind that this is the perfect opportunity to embrace a challenge to learn from this individual? See, competition is about drive, and motivation, but what is your agenda? Must you be perfect because you were abused as a child, or is your motivation to be perfect because you are passionate about the pursuit of excellence, that you wish to constantly go higher and higher because you love what you do?

    If you do what you do because you feel you must, else your sense of self is injured and your identity threatened, then you have a lot to learn. That is not love or passion, that is fear. Fearing that you don't matter, if you aren't the best. Yet you will find an endless race with no end in site. You may master guitar and be the best in the world, but if you lack passion, you'll merely move onto something else which will bring you pain, because then you must master that.

    That is truly unfortunate that you see others as a threat. Who you are isn't dependent on how well you play a guitar. Who you are is dependent on who you choose to be in relationship to other people. Are you respectful, loving, sincere, honest, trustworthy, compassionate, proactive, positive, dedicated, motivated in these pursuits? Are you pursuing character, or a reputation? For a man's reputation is based on what others think of him, but a man's character is based on what he thinks of himself.

    Who do you want to be? A ghost chasing endless empty pursuits, which have no bona fide true passion, or activities which reflect a love of who you inherently are? The best of the best in the world, become the best, because it's a reflect of who they are.

    You aren't what you do! You do what you are! Do you understand? No one who truly loves you will embrace you for the former.

    I've been alive for 29 years, and there are 20 year olds who run fortune 500 companies, there are guitarists who have played for 5 years, who are better than I, who has played for 15. I am not, nor ever will be the master of all. I may never be the master of one -- but I serve myself best by focusing my energy on what I love doing, not what others are doing.

    You can't "be" a loser, though you can act like one. One who acts like a loser is someone who when given the opportunity to grow, chooses not to. Growth is always the movement from primitive to competence.

    You will always be incompetent, but you may also always be competent at the same time. Think of it like this:

    I am proficient in my ability to write. I am competent. How did I become competent?

    First I knew nothing about nothing: I was unconsciously incompetent.

    Second: I knew nothing about something: I was now consciously, incompetent.

    Third, I knew something, about something: I was now consciously, competent.

    Fourth, I knew something, about nothing: I was now unconsciously competent.

    I didn't know writing required skill, or that I even could or would be a writer. I new nothing, about nothing.

    Then I became aware of writing through reading, and I knew then that I could potentially explore writing, and so I knew nothing, about something, that something being writing.

    Eventually I began to write myself, and became very good, but I had to think and ponder the methods by which I would produce my writing, so I had become aware of my skill in something, that something being writing.

    Finally, I was proficient, thoughtless, and yet exceptional. I didn't think, I simply "was" -- I became my writing. I was now unconscious in my ability to perform the task. I could simply do it, without thinking about it.

    Do you see? We all are incompetent at something, or in transition along the way. We may never reach the ability to be fully capable of performing to the highest degree of perfection in our particular pursuit without careful thought.

    So think about that. Think about where your feelings come from, because logically they don't come from the reality of growth and the process of accumulating knowledge and experience in your guitar playing.

    You feel inferior for reasons beyond the guitar. If you can take heart in this, and find the source of your unconscious fear, you can take the opportunity of other people's skills and grow.

    I read books constantly, my skill continues to grow and improve. Perfection will never be attained, but mastery is not perfection. Do you understand?
     
  11. METALLlC BLUE

    METALLlC BLUE New Member

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    If you've abandoned or not begun projects because of an inability to learn from, or role model after another who is more skilled than you are, then you have blown opportunities.

    It was a wasted opportunity.

    That's a very foolish way to think. The source is unimportant, the skill and the information is what matters.

    Let's face what you believe to be facts. Facts can be used to obscure the truth, as any good lawyer can attest.

    Then it is clear you are controlled by your ego, losing both opportunities and the ability to create who you want to be, because of a limiting belief you hold. You think that you've learned to walk by yourself? That you've learned to use the toilet alone? Do you think that you've learned Mathematics, History, English, by your doing alone? Others have and others always will affect and impact your ability to learn, whether you wish to accept that or not. You can either deny yourself this truth, or exploit this truth and dwell in the immense information and knowledge that other people have to share. Reinventing the wheel is a foolish way to achieve success, when you can easily build on strong foundations laid by others before you.

    Guitarists before, and after you will allow you to create (Note the word create) your music. Music is an art, it is not a science. You may learn rules, and theory -- but the end result is not a matter of perfect science. It is the capacity to create using information that came from outside yourself. You will always be influenced, and you can accept that consciously, or deny it consciously, but it will always remain the truth independent of your thoughts about it.

    Trying to figure out alone, what has already been mastered by another, and easily can be transferred, is foolish and a primitive way to approach the world. Two is better than one, in creating and encouraging growth. I am pleased to see that you at least on occasion have gathered information willingly from someone, yet this arrogance over age is simply a form of "ism" -- like racism, or sexism. It is merely ageism. Having contempt for those below you, as though they are inferior and have nothing to teach you is poison to the mind of the wise.

    It is incredibly arrogant, and demonstrates a facade of weakness.

    Many years ago I wrote this:

    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica]"I've certainly come to know one very important thing about myself, that is, that I know - very little. When in the presence of someone primitive in thought I try to be patient, and understanding. I've learned early on that those who are the greatest failures are usually the most conceited of all people. On the surface they may appear quite competent, and quite successful, but in their hearts - they are unhappy, and often unfulfilled. They don't listen to reason, because reason isn't their problem. They don't listen to the problem, because they deny a problem exists. They are unwilling and unable to recognize that their behavior is self defeating and deep within the mind - an unconscious pattern being repeated as if it mattered. I have confirmed this by following a simple phrase: The way we respond to criticism depends on the way we respond to praise. If praise humbles an individual, then criticism will build them up. But if praise inflates them, then criticism will crush them; and both responses lead to their defeat.

    I pity the arrogant, and I at times in my life have pitied myself."
    [/FONT]

    You will never hear the truth so long as you keep telling us yours. You underestimate some of us, as though we're to naive to understand where your feelings come from. You are not unique in that respect. Your feelings of being inadequate, although you purport to be the best at what you do, doesn't change your experience.

    I'm sure you had a lot to teach him. I'm sure he was very grateful as well.

    It sounds like he is motivated and passionate about music.

    The difference is clear. He performs from a love of what he does. You perform from the ego.

    Those who love what they do perform with ease, with nearly a "flow" like grace. To them, what they do is not work. Practice is not a task they "have" to get done, but rather an ongoing process which floods the mind. Because they are always connected, they are always practicing. It isn't a matter of being "better" in contrast to another that matters to them, it is a matter of expressing themselves through their art, and becoming better in contrast to themselves.

    I do, and I hope you understand what I am saying. You are clearly a smart individual who has made foolish mistakes, but mistakes are inevitable. Failure does not exist, only results. If you base your identity off what you are skilled at or not skilled at, you will always feel inferior. You must accept that you're a human being, that you are one among many, and that you have a lot to offer, but so does everyone else. Whether you're 5 years old, or 90 years old -- you have something to share that will educate or illuminate something another did not know or had not experienced.

    One day I was watching my nephew playing on the floor during a family gathering. He took the matchbox cars and "zooom zooomed" them, running them across the floor like bumper cars. I watched him carefully and asked him "What did you do yesterday?" -- he then asked me "Why?" I said "Why not?" He laughed and continued to play.

    I realized at that moment, that this child grasps the concept I'm sharing with you, better than many adults I know. The past is gone, along with our mistakes and our illusions of failure. We're here now, and that is that.

    He smiled and began crashing the cars into each other, watching as they spun and collided like pool balls. I asked him "What are you doing tomorrow?" And he said "I don't know."

    Once again, illuminating a point which seriously consumes so many people. He's uninterested in neither the past nor the future. He doesn't know. Do you know? Do you have all the answers? Then you are incompetent. You are limited, finite, and bound by rules. You will never be more than the sum of what you are now at any given moment in your life.

    Do you really want to live your life like you're immortal or do you want to join us in enjoying your life, learning, and growing in relationships, and in your knowledge for the mere motivation of "because". That's "be-cause."

    Hopefully you respect yourself enough to forgive yourself for being imperfect. No apology is necessary, yet your ego apparently needs one. You must respect yourself. It is your character that counts, not how fast you can perform the C scale, nor how fast you can perform Eruption.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
  12. Mikhail117

    Mikhail117 New Member

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    I've been broken down and analyzed piece by piece. All of the things Metallic Blue said really hit close to home.

    I must apologize for my ego-- he can be a bastard at times. Although, now, I believe that I have a better understanding of how I should play this out.

    Worrying about being the best, being the greatest at everything can cripple what you love doing. The quest for fame and popularity can blind. No matter how good you may get, it will not amount to anything if it was gained through ill-means. A man's greatness, both in his eyes and others, is measured by his character, not by his skill or his talent.

    Much thanks to all of you, especially Metallic Blue, for taking the time to read and reply on this thread.

    Hopefully, when I wake up tomorrow, none of the things that I have read and that have been revealed to me won't escape from my head.

    Many thanks.
     
  13. METALLlC BLUE

    METALLlC BLUE New Member

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    I've been in your shoes, and it's human to experience the world through feelings of inadequacy. It feels awful to look at yourself and never feel satisfied or at peace.

    It's a process. You won't get this "right" anymore than anything else you approach through the eyes and mind of ambition. Simply being as you are, won't be accomplished just because you intellectually choose it. However, if you hold in your mind that your goal is to serve yourself in being happy, in influencing others in positive ways, and in following what you really care about -- eventually you'll begin to act those feelings and thoughts out.

    Be yourself, seriously, because those that matter don't mind and those that mind don't matter. The only one whose opinion of you matters is, yours. You'll build character and happiness by focusing on that, not the frets, strings, or chords you play.

    I write music, and I'm not very good, but what I do play is sincere, and that moves people. People say "God damn you are good" -- I'm good, because I'm me, not because my music is better than others they've heard.

    My priority is happiness, to express myself in my writing, and to sing the songs I want to sing. I don't give a shit if someone plays better than me, or sings better than me. I care about the simple joy I get from experiencing the process that is writing and performing my music.

    People who write better than me exist, and I love listening to them, if their music is sincere and speaks to me. I learn from them, and who I am grows. I envy them, but only in the way a child envies an adult who can reach a door knob. I know I'll grow in my own time to open the doors, and I love that.

    Intellectually you understand this, and yet emotionally it will take time. Beliefs don't happen simply because someone tells you such and such. Through your experience you'll come to not only know these truths, but you'll feel them, and identify with them as core convictions. You have the potential to do many things, but what is the point in driving towards Boston when you want to go to Las Vegas? You must choose what serves you, by understanding what really matters most. Where's your treasure, where's your hope? If you get the world, but lose your soul?

    Something tells me you're like me, you want joy, peace, and happiness in your life. To get them means you go in the direction that creates them, not the opposite.

    You're very welcome, clearly you're worthwhile enough to me that I was willing to invest the most precious thing I have in my life. My time. I can never get back what I've invested in you. I can earn more money, I can find new friends, I can cut my hair, but I can't have more time, and that means something. So respect yourself, because I deserve it.

    And when you do re experience these feelings that you originally discussed -- which you will -- you'll continue to remember what I've said. You may not "hold onto it" but you'll remember. And as a result you'll keep moving towards what serves you. Remember this, what serves you, usually serves others. If it helps you, it's helping others, that's how you know you're going in the right direction.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
  14. Stilgar1973

    Stilgar1973 New Member

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    Just reading through this....
    you desperately need your ass handed to you.

    I mean, why are people even willing to play with you? God forbid some other dude do something superior to you. Have to worry about your delicate sensibilities. Instead of you wondering how the person pulled it off, jammin some more and both of you being better players, it sounds to me like everyone around you has to be on there tip toes, lest you end up getting all pissy and skulking off in a corner somewhere.

    I mean, who do you think you are Eddie VanHalen?

    Please.
    You aren't that special. There are lots of people better then you and there are lots of people worse then you. Get off your high horse and stop worrying about if someone is older or younger then you.
     
  15. Stilgar1973

    Stilgar1973 New Member

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    I am gonna put it all a completely different way.

    You are bitching about how awful it is to worry if you are the best or world famous or whatever.

    Stop it.

    Odds are very, very good that the best you will ever achieve are smoky bars on Friday and Saturday nights.
    If you are incapable of enjoying those moments then playing the guitar will prove pointless.

    And if you can't get beyond wondering why you are playing in such a shitty bar when you deserve to have a recording contract and roadies then you will never enjoy what you are doing at that moment.
     
  16. Mikhail117

    Mikhail117 New Member

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    Thanks for replying, and yes, I really do need my ass handed to me (//previous post), and I really am bitching about worrying. I agree with you fully.

    I intend to do so, starting today. Thank you for your concern. ;)

    Well, let's hope it never comes to that. :)
     
  17. MoRe

    MoRe New Member

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    Jazz and classical? You sir have good tastes. I play neoclassical guitar and too be good in ANYTHING you have to set aside your ego and strive for perfection. I felt plenty of times that I am worthless at playing guitar and nothing seems to go right but later I rebound with 10x the skills and ability. Blood, sweat and tears is what anything good is made off. Learning something quickly can only take you so far. Good luck and remember your never good enough until you are perfect which is impossible. So always strive for perfection ;)
     
  18. Yuppy

    Yuppy Have a seat right there....

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    im dead serious, ive seen some losers get laid doing that! a LOT.
     
  19. JordanClarkson

    JordanClarkson OT Supporter

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    They still have to put in the effort though. And to me the effort is 90% of success. A poor kid who plays basketball everyday will probably go further than a rich kid who doesn't try hard. Kelly Slater became the greatest surfer in the world by studying tiny 2ft waves for hours. Michael Jordan's work ethic was second to none.
     

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