Do You Have What It Takes To Be Extraordinary?

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There are millions of guitar players out there. How could anyone hope to breakthrough and make a living playing guitar? Not lead guitar in band, just straight up guitar?

This video of Andy McKee playing Drifting is your answer.

Play it like nobody else plays it. Turn one instrument into an entire band, build upon but then transcend what every teacher has ever taught you. Create an immersive experience that defines your own genre. And, devote yourself to mastery on a level that, along with your unique take, makes you remarkable.

Then share your abilities with the world…

What I’m talking about here isn’t about playing guitar. And, it isn’t about music.

It’s about a commitment to mastery, passion and remarkability. It’s about playing by and mastering someone else’s rules on a level that affords you the craft and insight to then leave those rules behind and create your own boundless solutions and experiences.

And, it’s very likely about thousands of hours and a whole lotta years.

Is that asking a lot? Yes.

But, if you’re someone who’s driven by extraordinary visions, that’s very likely what it’ll take.

My question is…are you prepared to do what it takes to create on that level?

P.S. – This video has been viewed more than 32 million times.

Amazing, the marketing power of stunning.

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27 responses

27 responses to “Do You Have What It Takes To Be Extraordinary?”

  1. WOW.

    “It’s about playing by and mastering someone else’s rules on a level that affords you the craft and insight to then leave those rules behind and create your own boundless solutions and experiences.”

    I completely agree. I’m really big encouraging others to create around the limitations & constraints of everyday life and what’s “normal.” But you do really need to have a deep understanding and appreciation for what’s before to be able to do what’s next.

    Well, I’m not sure that you NEED to, but those are the exceptions to remarkableness – not the rule.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chris Garrett, Jonathan Fields, remarkablogger, Grant Griffiths, Terry Starbucker and others. Terry Starbucker said: RT @jonathanfields: Do You Have What It Takes To Be Extraordinary? – […]

  3. We walk our own path, play our own game for we wrote it. Those rules are in place so the game has boundaries we can push against and push you will if you want that Extraordinary life. The great news is the rules change along with you.

    I will be thirsty my whole life and so will you. Who ever came up with this script is brilliant and I wish to thank them for it.

    I have to rush now so I can standstill.

  4. This is such an incredible performance – funnily enough I first saw this when you tweeted it some time ago, and as I watched it was like time stood still. Magnificent playing. As a musician myself I understand the backstage preparation needed to create a moment in time like this, and indeed it is epic hard work. But always, always worth it if you have the passion…

  5. Marlee says:

    I love your point here Jonathan. Are you willing to do what it takes to create on that level?

    I think the answer for any person with an extraordinary vision has to be, without a doubt. Why?

    Because people (your audience let’s say) is starving for something extraordinary. Extraordinary is sensational, powerful and compelling because it resonates with people’s innate desire to be wowed.

    Not much wows anymore because although people want to be wowed, not many are willing to invest that which is required. Ironically, become extraordinary in your craft, albeit a challenge for the individual, makes it much easier to be attractive to those you seek to attract.

    Time to put my head down and work. 😉

  6. It is truly inspiring indeed. There is great pleasure though, in all of those hours and years of hard work.

  7. I completely agree.

  8. Marilia says:

    I guess most people want to reply yes to your question, having the strenght to dedicate years to do it is another story…

    I feel like yes, I have what it takes to be extraordinary (everyone does), but like our fellow guitar player, only time (alot of time) will show it that´s true.

  9. Dave Soucy says:

    Inspiring. I think everyone has the ability to be remarkable in some way, shape or form, but too often we settle for ‘good enough’. Sometimes that is okay, but this video is a great reminder of what can happen when you you don’t let ‘good enough’ be good enough.

    Thanks for posting that Jonathan.

  10. Doug Shaw says:

    Cool, I love this. Though I may now have to burn my guitars. Either that or practice like hell! My good friend Ashley also shared something inspiring with me today, and if you don’t mind, I’d like to pass on the link. I hope you’ll agree, it’s in a similar vein. Cheers – Doug

  11. ami says:

    Thank-you so much for sharing this Jonathan. The video clearly shows the reward for hard work and mastery (both to the musician/artist and to the rest of us). Work => Mastery => Amazing Possibilities.

  12. Marketing power of stunning – it really is that simple. When will all of us truly get it? Thanks for sharing the video Jonathan.

  13. Nick Roberts says:

    I love this video and am very thankful you have shared it. I think its one of those videos you can always come back to when you need inspiration or a reason to ignite that fire or passion.

    I know there are those times for me when it doesn’t come easier but each day I work at it those times get smaller and smaller.

  14. “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”…(pursuit of One’s potential-one’s Gift). I think we are all coming to the same realization…teach the Children to follow their passion.

  15. Richard says:

    Hmmm… what is extraordinary? What does it take to be the best in the world? It depends, like Seth Godin writes, on your definition of “the world.”

    I can’t play guitar anything like this guy does, but I’m the best guitar player in my world (Shoal Creek Community Church). Over the last month we put together some amazing services on stories: stories of child abuse (including interviews with survivors); stories of marital infidelity (including interview with a couple who is dealing with the aftermath), and stories of addiction to pornography (including interviews with the addicts). The music we played helped set the stage (i.e. soften the hearts in the audience) so the stories could touch the lives of those who needed to hear them.

    So YEAH, absolutely, I have what it takes to be extraordinary. I’m part of an extraordinary community. I’ll never play like Andy McKee, but I’m proud to play like me and love to see our collective work touch lives every week.

  16. In a time where the “guru” mantra has been to simply fail fast and “get it out there” it’s great to see someone supporting a quest for real excellence.

    If entrepreneurs really did “go back and tweak it later” after they launched a project, we might see more excellence. Sadly, instead there’s been a tradeoff of “perfectionism” and “analysis paralysis” as an excuse to push crap to the marketplace.

    Entrepreneurs need to spend more time honing the craft and creating excellence. You don’t even have to be different, if you’re excellent.

    Not everyone can be Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, Oprah or Steve Jobs, but they can still make good money by being excellent.

    In fact, even Oprah isn’t one of the Walton (Wal-Mart) sisters, who have a net worth approximately 10x that of Oprah.

    But Oprah is excellent at what she does. And she is rewarded for that excellence.

    So too, can we be rewarded for our excellence – our amazing “You-nique-ness” that we bring to a hungry market.

    Because, let’s face it, if we keep bringing crap, eventually we become known for our shoddy worksmanship, rather than our excellence.

    Yes, excellence takes work, practice, skill, craftsmanship and time. Yes, sometimes we get distracted by the shiny object or flash-in-the-pan “competitor” that seems to make a big splash with little or no work put in, while we’re busting our butts to get things done. I confess to having those feelings from time to time.

    But the thing that defines excellence is the willingness to persist and be consistent and improving your game.

    Something that can’t be done in a weekend.

    Great post!

  17. Evan says:

    It depends on what he’s selling. If it is the ability to play the guitar stunningly – well that’s master classes and so on and a limited audience and maybe making good money or not. If it’s selling concert tickets that’s another thing. If he was trying to sell a course to get those who want to play to start playing, maybe not (it may be too big a leap for people from where they are to where he is).

  18. John Lennon said the same thing. Create your own style. Great stuff.

  19. Sapeoblast says:

    Two Words on extraordinary. . .

    Stanley Jordan.

  20. Katie Marsh says:

    I love this post so much. I was just in the car driving home, asking myself what the hell I am doing, a single mom of two, about to go to a Photography Portfolio in a month without even a camera, writing in a blog with the intensity of love for it sometimes feels silly, as if I am wasting my time, not being practical, so I stopped and listened. I heard my heart beat tell me that nothing is more important than the moment you are creating in a space of love, without an attachment, for the pure joy of it. I asked to see my situation differently, and up pops this blog, this guitar solo as important to the world as my words or photographs, and I see now to be extraordinary means to have confidence, the kind of confidence that drives out all fear, with only you to remain. Thank you.

  21. […] came across the above video at JonathanFields•Awake@The Wheel. Jonathan’s comment was: Create an immersive experience that defines your own genre. And, […]

  22. Chris Jordan says:

    I first saw this video a few years ago, and as someone who plays guitar, I was awestruck. This guy is amazing! But the key is that he didn’t get 32 million views overnight.. he started with one. And who knows how many hours this guy logs, playing and practicing.

    Being remarkable is such a hard thing to achieve because it takes long-term commitment and dedication to your craft. Like you said, thousands of hours. Remarkable people stay focused and do not sway from their goals. But I think that that focus is the only real tricky part. With enough patience and persistence we are all equally capable of being remarkable.

  23. Sean says:

    This video totally reminds me of a guy that I used to go watch play guitar each week at a coffee shop in Eugene, OR. Same style, amazingly talented.

  24. Doug Armey says:

    Great reminder that extraordinary is not easy. We live in a society of half hour TV fixes to everything. So we are disappointed when we don’t become extraordinary quickly. No it takes talent for sure. But also an incredible amount of persistence.

  25. When you can “leave those rules behind and create your own boundless solutions and experiences” it
    feels like you finally have stopped trying on somebody else’ used shoes – because you got a new pair custom made just for you!

  26. Byron says:

    I disagree with the message of striving to be extraordinary. Why should that be the goal? How many human beings lead extraordinary lives? Ever hear of the saying that perfection is the enemy of the good?

    Do you judge people for not being extraordinary? Passions come and passions go. You can’t be passionate just for the sake of being passionate and expect that if you practice every day you will make it to the level of superstardom.

    This post is so geared towards a Western mindset. Talk to a Buddhist monk about passion, ambition and being extraordinary, and you will get a different answer all together.

    Using the guitarist analogy is ridiculous. That’s an example of doing one thing and focusing on one thing and doing it very well. Every hear of Michael Jordan? This is nothing new.

    Remember folks. There are millions of people living extraordinary lives right now and you will never EVER hear about them.

    THERE IS NO ONE RIGHT WAY TO LIVE. Keep that in mind and you just might find your extraordinary life.

  27. […] of that involves reconstructing my web presence and rethinking what it will provide the ideal customer. And that inevitably brings up the question […]