Directions are always needed when we have to get from someplace to our point of destination, especially in unfamiliar territory, like travelling abroad. And now that we live in a world where Google or Apple Maps are readily available on our phones, it's extremely convenient to just whip them out and follow it. These directions take us on the journey - whether it's from home to your workplace, or from the park to a concert hall. And while this physical-ness is part of our daily lives, we also have other non-physical directions and destinations, like for careers, emotional states, etc.
As a musician, my musical direction gives me a sense of purpose and drive. It not only guides me along my path and trajectory which I plan out for myself, but helps me to work towards certain goals. And we can relate this to our every day physical directions and journeying. Two examples: learning something new and improving on something existing.
Learning something new can be seen like travelling to a new or unfamiliar place. Let's say we're going to a friend's new place, and we've never seen those roads before. We pull out Google maps and, whether it's by driving or public transport, get our directions. We have our destination and now, we know how to get there with directions. And that makes up the journey. Relating this to when I started practicing tambourine, my end-goal was to be able to play a certain technique (the destination). I knew I was going to get there through time and practice (the journey), but I also had to plan how to arrive there. So I wrote down a bunch of exercises I could use and do to reach that target (the directions).
Kind of making sense now?
The second example is very similar, except you could be working on something you already know. Think of it like you're heading to the mall or a nearby cafe - it's a familiar route but we can employ different variables by walking the longer way, or taking a short bus ride, or even driving down. It's been a while since I sat down to work on my drumset playing and I thought I should work on refining my foot technique (the destination). So I sought out different strategies (the directions) of practicing (the journey) to reach my goal.
It's very similar to being goal-oriented in the practice room, but also adjusting the mindset so that we figure out how to get there, rather than only saying "I want to get there" and going about aimlessly. Because while it's great that we can be specific and goal-oriented on what we want to achieve (like how I wanted to improve on my doubles), I think the 'how' is the most crucial component to getting there.
Thanks again for reading and I hope this post has been beneficial! Part II is dropping next week, and I'll discuss more on bigger picture stuff. Till then, be safe and well!