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Pain and Progress

There's something they don't tell you about learning to play the guitar.

It hurts.

Plus, at first, you can't really strum a chord.

So, it hurts your fingers and your ears.

If you're able to push through the pain—in some cases even some light bleeding on your fingers—eventually you will strum your first chord.

It will be the sweetest sound you've heard yourself make.

A strange thing starts to happen at the tips of your fingers if you're able to persist through the pain.

You develop calluses.

The harder your calluses get, the smoother your chords start to sound.

I've been playing guitar at a songs-around-a-campfire level for several years now and I recently thought back to what it was like to initially learn how to play.

I remembered that pain is part of the process.

Without pain, there would be no smooth sounding chords.

Without pain, you literally wouldn't be able to play the songs you fantasized about, which led you to pick up a guitar in the first place.

Regardless of its form, pain is a necessary component of learning anything new, isn't it?

The next time you start something new, perhaps you can welcome pain.

After all, its presence is a signal of progress.

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