I still remember learning a specific piano piece at my lessons. When played quickly and correctly, the song was absolutely beautiful. But played slow, stumbling along along as I was at the beginning and making a hundred mistakes, the piece sounded awful.
“Why on Earth did you chose this song?” my piano teacher asked jokingly as I struggled my way through a particularly difficult section.
I chuckled ruefully. “It sounded nice,” was as I could say.
And it did. The song sounded so perfect when I listened to it. Why did it sound so atrocious when I played it?
“Wrong note,” my piano teacher said again and again, pointing to the correct one. With great concentration, I corrected my mistake.
“That didn’t sound much better!” he laughed.
He was right. Half the time, the right note sounded just as bad as the wrong note. The process grew rather discouraging.
As time passed, I slowly but surely perfected the song, and at last it sounded like the recording I had been striving to sound like. I was so satisfied that my hard work had paid off, and that the once horrific sounding song had become the beautiful song that had delighted me in the first place.
I think life goes like that sometimes. We look up to our models, our idols, and wonder how they can have accomplished their goals so perfectly while we struggle along with our dreams. But they struggled too. They had obstacles and wrong notes to overcome. Someday, we’ll play our songs to match theirs. We might be stumbling along, hitting wrong notes, but we’re moving forward, progressing.
There might be a long and winding road ahead of us before we reach the level of our inspirations. Because we’ll get there. It just takes practice.